How Do You Read MRI Results And What Do They Mean?

MRI is an abbreviation that stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It’s a medical imaging method that is used to see what’s inside the body. The magnetic resonance imaging sees beyond the skin, by forming images of the anatomical and physiological happenings of the body. This method does not make use of X-rays, it relies on the combination of different radio waves and magnetic fields. The pictures formed by the Magnetic resonance imaging is always in details. It is capable of revealing what the other imaging techniques cannot show, such as the X-ray and the CT scan, although they have their own uses too. The magnetic resonance imaging technique is quite safe for regular use because it doesn’t expose the body to unsafe radiations, like the X-ray, however, it also has its own risks too. It’s a popular imaging technique in hospitals and clinics, and it’s important in checking the progress and stage of a disease. When compared to the CT scan imaging technique, the magnetic resonance imaging takes more time and is usually louder. In addition to this, individuals with medical accessories implanted in their body, or metal products that can’t be removed, may not be able to use this machine.

How Does The Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technique Work?

The magnetic resonance imaging technique works by placing the patient in a narrow tube, surrounded by a strong magnet. “Then the machine is started, randomly spinning hydrogen atoms align towards the direction of the magnetic field. Shortly after that, a radio pulse is applied on the part of the body that is to be checked. Atoms in this part, absorbs some of the pulse’s energy, leading them to spin in a particular frequency and direction. The smaller magnets are turned off and on, so as to activate the very specific regions, also known as slices. The hydrogens release the energy that has been absorbed, when the radio frequency pulse is switched off, thereby releasing signals that have been captured by the magnetic resonance imaging machine in the brain” This data is sent to a computer, that would process and analyze the signals, using them to form and develop images of the slice.

What Are The Medical Uses Of The Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technique?

The magnetic resonance imaging technique is widely used in hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centers for the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. It’s prominent in the monitoring of the growth of cancerous and benign tumors

Neuroimaging: The magnetic resonance imaging technique is used in the diagnosis and detection of cancers that affect the brain, and other components of the nervous system. It’s better than the CT-scan and the X-ray in this regard. It provides a superior resolution to the CT-scan and also gives more vivid pictures of the posterior fossa of the head. The contrast it provides, between the grey and white matter, makes it the most effective and first line investigative tool for the central nervous system diseases. It’s capable of capturing images within milliseconds and can show how the brain reacts to different impulse and stimuli. It can be used in surgery for the treatment of conditions such as tumors and arteriovenous malformations.

Musculoskeletal System           

The magnetic resonance machine technique can be used for the diagnosis of diseases that affects the joints and other tissue tumors. Diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can all be detected by using the MRI.

Gastrointestinal System

The magnetic resonance imaging technique can be used for detecting lesions and other abnormalities in organs of the gastrointestinal system such as the bile ducts, gallbladder, liver, and the pancreas. A special contrast known as the extracellular contrast are used in the diagnosis of liver diseases. Also, new contrast materials have been developed for the diagnosis of biliary diseases. In addition, the imaging of the pancreas is done after secretin has been introduced into the body.  Magnetic resonance imaging provides a relatively safe and non-invasive method of diagnosing and evaluating tumor and inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal system. It’s also important for the monitoring of colorectal cancer. The MRI can be used for assessing the grade and stage of the disease.


Magnetic resonance imaging is used in angiography, for the generation of images of vessels. This technique is used for detecting defects in the vessels such as aneurysms and stenosis. The magnetic resonance angiography is used to examine the consistency and integrity of the arteries in the thoracic cavity, kidney, abdomen, extremities, neck and in the brain. There is also the magnetic resonance venography, that is used in visualizing and evaluating the veins

How Safe Is The Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technique?

The magnetic resonance technique is safe, as it doesn’t expose to any form of radiations, unlike the X-ray. It also can be used regularly to monitor the progress of a condition. The only hazard that might come with the magnetic resonance imaging might be due to not keeping to the safety procedures, or not knowing how to operate the device. However, people who have medical implants and metallic materials implanted in them may not be able to use this device. This is because the MRI machine mechanism of action depends solely on magnetism. So any detection of metal in the body of the patient might cause havoc to the patient, or even spoil the machine. In a situation where the CT-scan and MRI would achieve the same result, the MRI is mostly preferred because of how safe it is. The only downside to the magnetic resonance imaging is that it takes more time than the other procedures, and it’s more expensive.

Interpreting The MRI Results

Patients would have to rely on their physicians to interpret the results of the MRI results to them because it’s written in medical terms, which is Latin and Greek for the most part. Ensure your physician speaks to the radiologist after the scan to make sure that your doctor fully understands the meaning of the scan and its effect on your health. In addition, you must know that radiology evaluations are not always definite. You might need further tests and evaluation to confirm the diagnosis.


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