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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What makes Medical Imaging unique when it comes to MRI?

  • Medical Imaging is the only private, outpatient imaging facility that has the new 3 Tesla Open MRI.

This means:

  • Higher resolution images leading to more accurate diagnoses
  • Faster scanning times mean you spend less time on the scanner
  • An extra large open bore (70 cm) ensures more comfort
  • A broader range of clinical applications

Some of the more advanced MRI techniques that we offer include:

  • Functional MRI (fMRI) which allows us to see the thinking brain
  • MR Angiography (MRA) of the head, neck and body vasculature
  • MR Spectroscopy (single and multi-voxel) of the brain and prostate
  • MR Breast to visualize breast masses and cancers
  • Specialized protocols to image brain masses, seizure disorders and other neurological diseases

Technology:

3.0 Tesla Siemens Verio Open
1.5 Tesla GE Open Bore HDX2 MRI
1.5 Tesla GE HDX MRI

What is MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) allows our radiologists to see into any part of the body non-invasively, rapidly and without exposure to radiation. The MRI procedure is painless and requires no recovery time. MRI provides greater contrast between the different soft tissues of the body than Computed Tomography (CT), making it especially useful in neurological (brain), musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and oncological (cancer) imaging.

Unlike CT, it uses no ionizing radiation, but rather powerful magnetic fields to build up enough information to construct an image of the body. Certain studies may require a small amount of a contrast agent to be injected into an arm vein to highlight special areas and visualize abnormalities.

MRI studies

An MRI scan is used to detect problems such as tumors, bleeding, injury, blood vessel disease or infection, and is used to image the following eareas:

•   MRI of the Head and Neck
Looks at the brain to detect tumors, aneurysms, bleeding, nerve injury, and other problems, such as damage caused by a stroke. Can also detect problems relating to the eyes and optic nerves, and the ears and auditory nerves.
•   MRI of the Chest
Looks at the heart, its valves and the coronary blood vessels. Can detect if the heart or lungs are damaged, or to see if there is lung or breast cancer.
•   MR Angiography (MRA)
Looks at the blood vessels in the neck and the flow of blood through them without having to use a catheter. Can detect problems in the arteries, such as aneuryms and blocked vessels.
•   MRI of the Abdomen and Pelvis
Detects tumors in the liver, kidneys, spleen, bladder, gallbladder, pancreas and lymph nodes. For women, it can look at the uterus and ovaries, and in men it can look for abnormalities in the prostate.
•   MRI of the Cervical, Lumbar and Thoracic Spine
Looks at the discs and nerves of the spine for conditions such as spinal stenosis, disc bulges and spinal tumors.
•   MRI of Bones and Joints (shoulder, ankle, hip, knees)
Looks for problems such as arthritis, bone tumors, cartilage issues, torn ligaments or tendons, and infections.
 

What to expect during your MRI?

  • Our trained technologists will guide you onto the MRI table.
  • You will be positioned on the table and moved into the tube.
  • MRI exams take between 20 and 45 minutes depending on the type of study, and you will be required to hold still for certain periods during the exam so that the technologist can get a clear and accurate imaging sequence.
  • The MRI machine can be noisy due to the magnetic fields but we provide ear plugs to cut out most of the noise. And, on our new 3T MRI, we provide headphones so that you can listen to music or watch a DVD while you are on the MRI machine.
  • If you have a pacemaker, you will not be able to have an MRI. Please let us know and we will schedule an alternative exam for you.
  • You should wear comfortable clothing without metal buttons or zippers.

Claustrophobic?

If you need to have an MRI but are claustrophobic or have trouble lying still, we offer oral or intravenous sedation, which can help you relax during the MRI exam.

Special preparation is required for sedation:

  • For oral sedation, you should not eat or drink four hours prior to the exam.
  • For intravenous sedation, you should not eat or drink six hours prior to the exam and you should arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time.
  • For both types of sedation, you must have a driver to take you home after the sedation. If you do not have a driver, we can arrange one for you.

MRI for Children

Due to the nature of the study and the noise and length of the exam, some children may be apprehensive about having an MRI. For this reason, children can be sedated prior to being scanned. We have a recovery area in our fully accredited surgery facility where children and their parents can wait after the exam while the sedation wears off.