Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a non-invasive, radiation-free scanning technology that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to produce clear and detailed three-dimensional images of nearly all organs and hard and soft tissues in the body. MRI can be used to identify or precisely locate an injury or abnormality, to scan for developing problems or analyze damage from previous trauma, and to aid in the planning of surgery. MRI produces images of any area of the body and can be an invaluable tool for detecting tumors, infection, cancer and damage to the eye and inner ear, nervous system, heart and blood vessels, joint and musculoskeletal systems, major organs and male and female reproductive systems.
How do MRIs differ from X-Rays?
Unlike x-rays, radioisotopes and CT scanning, MRI uses radiofrequency waves, making it safer than other methods that use radiation. Radio waves detect differences in water concentration and distribution in various body tissues. Each scan can last from two to 15 minutes, but up to six images may be needed for a proper diagnosis, for an average total exam time of about 15 to 45 minutes. Because MRI requires the use of magnetic fields, all metal must be removed before the scans can be performed.
The MRI procedure is an effective diagnostic tool that does not involve any exposure to radiation, and is the only procedure to produce images of the hard and soft tissue within the body.