Full Form of MRI – WHAT IS MRI? WHY IS MRI NECESSARY?

Full Form of MRI – WHAT IS MRI? WHY IS MRI NECESSARY?

Full Form of MRI :

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI Full Form is Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is an imaging technique used by physicians in order to diagnose the internal organs to treat them. MRI makes use of radio frequency pulses and a strong magnetic field to give detailed pictures of the targeted organs on a computer screen. It can also take pictures of tissues, bones, and almost any internal structure of the body. MRI is different from x-ray as ionizing radiation is not used.

A detailed MRI picture or image can help doctors to analyze parts of the body in order to identify the diseases present based on the symptoms. These images can be printed out to maintain hard copies of reports. It is absolutely painless and very safe for all ages. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI) and Magnetic Resonance Tomography (MRT) are the other terms used to refer MRI technique in the medical field.

MRI Full Form – Additional Information

Our body is an amazing specimen that has many wonders to explore. These wonders are nothing but our different organs which are well protected in the cage of the body. So when something goes wrong with us physically the need to study these inner organs to ascertain where the problem lies arises. These studies were initially conducted by using X-ray, CT scan (computed tomography) or ultrasound scan.

WHAT IS MRI OR MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING?

MRI is a body test that is conducted using a powerful magnetic field and series of radio wave energy that forms a digital image of the internal structure of the body and the various organs therein. The advantage of MRI is that since the images are digital, they can be saved on the computer for future reference. MRI helps in giving a different perspective to the images created through X-ray, CT scan etc and that helps the doctors to get a clearer picture of the organs and the problems that are present. In order to accentuate some areas for better study during operations or investigation, a contrast dye material is injected intravenously.

The other scanning methods are unable to show internal problems effectively like bleeding, hemorrhage, damaged cells, and tissues, etc. Thus, it is necessary to perform an MRI to understand the proper gravity of the injury or ailment. During MRI, the person is placed in an enclosed machine unit that has a powerful magnet installed. The scan is conducted by an MRI technologist and the results are interpreted by a trained radiologist. However, other specialist doctors too can study the MRI scan reports and take action likewise.

PREPARING FOR MRI SCAN

MRI scanning is done under special conditions and there are certain procedures to be followed before a person can take this test. Most important is getting ready for the scan. Since the person is subjected to a magnetic field, it is essential to remove any metal objects present on the person. This includes jewelry, metallic hair clips, bracelets, belts, watches, etc. Personal use equipment like a hearing aid, dentures, braces etc are to be removed as they too can be attracted by the magnet and cause harm.

The patient’s medical history is studied to ascertain if there are internal metallic objects implanted like joints and rods for orthopedic use, pacemaker and stents for a heart condition, etc. In order to get a proper scan done, depending upon the area to be scanned, the patient is asked to remove all clothes and given a gown to wear. Sometimes underwear may be allowed. If you are permitted to keep the clothes on in case of head or upper body scan, it is still advisable to empty the contents of the pockets like coins, credit, and debit cards etc. The ATM/credit cards have a magnetic scanner strip and there are chances that high-power MRI magnet may erase the data off the strip.

UNDERSTANDING THE PROCEDURE OF THE MRI SCAN

Once the person is prepared for the scan, he/she is asked to lie down on the back on a stretcher table that is part of the scanning machine. It is necessary to be absolutely still while the scan is in progress. Thus, the head, arms, and chest is strapped securely to the table. The sliding table then is passed in the scanner unit in the presence of the magnet. A coil-like device is positioned over or enfolded around the spot to be scanned. A particular belt strap helps to monitor the person’s breathing and heartbeats. This enables the machine to take images at the time when the person is relaxed and comfortable.

The mere thought of passing through a big, enclosed magnetic field makes people uneasy and nervous. Nonetheless, presently there are machines that conduct open MRI scan. However, the images obtained are not of the high quality of the enclosed unit. The doctors give sedatives to the person to calm him down. This is essential because the person needs to be as still as possible on the table to ensure that the scan is done perfectly without any disturbed images.

The inside of the scanning machine has a fan and one can feel the air moving and the tapping and snapping sound when the images are being taken. In order to calm the patient, headphones with music attachment or earplugs may be given to diminish the machine noise.

During the scan, the person is alone inside the scanning area but is observed through a window by the technician. There can be two-way communications with the technologist over an intercom and the person subjected to scan can inform of his condition like a headache, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, etc to adjust / interrupt the scan accordingly. In the case of special screening, contrast material can be injected intravenously for 1 to 2 minutes.

WHY IS MRI NECESSARY?

MRI is necessary because there are certain areas of the body that cannot be effectively scanned by normal scanning machines. The MRI is usually done of the following body areas:

  • Head: To see if there are any abnormalities in the blood vessels, pituitary glands, clots in the brain, to ascertain the cause of headaches, damage due to injury, etc. Besides this, there can be a study of water in the brain, tumors, abscesses, checking eyes and ears for optic or auditory nerves damage.
  • Abdomen: To check for any tissue damage or tumors. MRI can detect if the tumor is cancerous or not. To check for blockages in the bile duct or urinary tract, to inspect the organs before transplantation or surgery to see if the blood vessels and organs are in good condition.
  • Knees: MRI of knees predicts any damage to ligaments, knee cap, joints, etc. It can detect any bone tumors or signs of arthritis as well as inflamed cartilage or tendons.
  • Shoulder: To detect any snapped ligament, cartilage or tissues, to find the cause of shoulder pain, injury to shoulder blade, etc.
  • Spine: MRI of the spine can help detect slip disc, pressed nerves, signs of tumor spread from lung, prostate or breast cancer, any kind of infection, compression fracture, damaged nerves as a result of injury or multiple sclerosis and so on.
  • Breast: This area is mainly scanned for detection of breast cancer.

RISKS AND RESULTS OF MRI

After the screening, the MRI discloses

  • Any abnormalities in the organs like growth of tumors in different locations in the body
  • damaged nerves, tissues or ligaments
  • detect any blockages in blood vessels, bile duct or urinary tract for clots or stones etc
  • The size of an internal organ, if it is enlarged or small or any part is missing or damaged.
  • Accumulation of abnormal fluid in and around vital organs like heart, liver, lungs etc
  • Broken bones due to injury or infection
  • Problems in the spine and nervous system and probable causes of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis.

Even though MRI is a safe testing method for thorough detection of internal injury and organ condition, there may be a few risks involved and that is totally depending upon the person’s physical state. MRI cannot be done if a person is pregnant or just had a major surgery that needed a metal implant. Persons with a kidney problem, anemia or diabetes need to disclose their condition to the doctor because the contrast material that is used during MRI may not be suitable for such states.

Cosmetic implants, braces, metal clips, metallic stents or pacemaker can cause a problem during the scan and it is not advisable for these people to undergo MRI but to opt for other means of scanning. MRI is an advanced method of anatomical detection and is very useful for critical condition surgeries and treatments. However, it is best left to the discretion of the technologist to finalize if a person is fit to take up this procedure.

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