Magnetic resonance imaging is a radiological non invasive medical imaging technique by which the anatomy and physiology of different organs of the body is captured. The device was invented by Paul C. Lauterbur in September of 1971. It differs from CT scan by the fact that it does not use x-rays. Hence it is safer, but it takes longer time that CT scan is louder and people with implants such as cochlear implants, shrapnel, cardiac pacemakers, and metals inside their body cannot undergo the technique. MRI machines can be open type and closed type. Let’s now look at the various diseases which are diagnosed with the help of MRI.
Nervous system- In cases of neurological cancers, MRI shows improved resolution than CT and gives a better view of the posterior fossa. It provides a good contrast between grey matter and white matter and hence is used for diagnosis of neuro diseases like dementia, epilepsy, demyelinating disease, cerebrovacular disease etc.
Cardiovascular system- It is used for assessment of myocarditis, myocardial ischemia, vascular diseases, iron over load, congenital heart disease etc.
Orthopaedic system- MRI is a good choice for diagnosis of spinal diseases, joint diseases and soft tissue tumours.
Gastrointestinal system- It is used for detecting lesions in liver, bile duct and pancreas. It is also used for non invasive classification of small intestine tumours and inflammatory bowel disease.
Oncology- MRI is the investigation of choice for detecting, staging and follow up of cancers like rectal cancer, prostate cancer etc.
Procedure- during the procedure, a patient is positioned within the MRI scanner which creates a strong magnetic field surrounding the area to be captured. The energy from the magnetic field excites the hydrogen atoms in the tissues which emit a radio signal that is captured by a coil and this helps forming the images.
Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.