Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
What is MRI?
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, and it’s a powerful diagnostic imaging tool. MRI images are produced by using two natural and harmless forces- magnetic fields and radio waves, not ionizing radiation. With the use of computers, the data acquired from your scan is transformed into two-dimensional images of your body. The procedure is painless and has no known side effects. With MRI, your radiologist can see the bone and soft tissues in your body, like muscles and internal organs. These images are very sensitive in showing differences between normal and abnormal tissues.
What should I expect?
Prior to your study, we will ask you to complete an MRI questionnaire to make sure that you do not have health conditions or metallic implants that would prevent you from having a scan.
This questionnaire will ask you if you have:
- A pacemaker
- Brain aneurysm clips
- Implants such as metallic plates, pins, stimulator wires, etc.
- History of working with metals
- History of injury during military service
MRI generally takes between 20 minutes and 45 minutes. For your comfort, we recommend that you empty your bladder before your scan. Our technologists will ask you to lie on a cushioned table that moves into the scanner and they will communicate with you throughout the exam.
MRI is performed in a series of imaging sequences. Before each sequence, your technologist will tell you how long the next sequence will take. MRI scans produce a tapping or banging noise that changes in frequency and volume depending on the scan type.
Some MRI scans require an intravenous injection of contrast agent. This injection enhances vessels and certain organs during the exam and is helpful to the radiologist in making the diagnosis.
When your scan is complete, you may return to your normal daily activities.
How should I prepare?
There are no special preparations or dietary restrictions prior to MRI examinations. You may continue your prescribed medications. You may be asked to change into an exam gown and take off all removal metal, i.e. earrings, body jewelry, eyeglasses, hairpins. If you are pregnant or are possibly pregnant, please inform our technologist prior to your scan.
How do I get the results?
After your MRI procedure is complete, the TRG radiologists will review your study and report the findings to your ordering physician. Follow up with your physician for scan results and care plan.
What is angiography?
Angiograms visualize blood vessels. There are many reasons why your doctor may feel an angiogram is necessary including pain in the legs when walking, diseases of the brain (including stroke and stroke precursors), high blood pressure, tumors, congenital abnormalities of blood vessels, and many others. With advancements in MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), radiologists can now perform angiograms with minimal downtime and as a same-day procedure.
What should I expect?
The MR angiogram usually takes about 20 minutes and involves an IV injection in the arm. You can go home immediately after the procedure. The risk associated with these procedures is an allergic reaction to the contrast or infection at the IV site, but it’s very rare. The technologist will discuss this with you prior to the exam. The images acquired during your angiogram are processed with very high-speed computers and three-dimensional pictures of your vessels are then available for the radiologist to review.