What Does An MRI Detect?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are regarded as one of the most important and sophisticated imaging techniques in radiology today. MRIs provide doctors and patients with highly detailed images of the body without the use of any radiation. If your doctor has ordered an MRI, you may be curious about what medical conditions he is looking to rule out.
What is MRI Imaging?
MRI imaging is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses strong magnetic and radio waves to create detailed images of the body’s internal structures. Unlike X-rays or CT scans, MRIs do not use any amounts of radiation and capture higher quality images of the soft tissue area of the body including organs, ligaments, and discs.
How Do MRIs Work?
Before you learn about what an MRI can detect, it is important to understand the underlying principles of how an MRI machine works. MRI machines produce a magnetic field and radiofrequency waves to view the body from a cellular level. When these waves are produced, the protons in your cells emit signals. The sensors built into the MRI can detect these signals. Then, these signals are captured and processed by a computer to create the results.
What Conditions Can MRIs Detect?
Your doctor may recommend an MRI to rule out certain medical conditions that affect the important systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems. Here are the following conditions that an MRI can detect and monitor:
- Blood vessel abnormalities
- Chest, abdomen, or pelvic tumors
- Gastrointestinal diseases including inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Heart conditions
- Joint injuries
- Liver, bile duct, or pancreatic diseases
- Traumatic brain injuries including stroke
It is important to note that undergoing an MRI doesn’t mean you have one of these conditions. An MRI simply investigates areas of the body further to confirm the signs or presence of a medical condition.
What Happens During An MRI?
When you arrive for your appointment, an MRI technologist will lead you to a comfortable room where the study will begin. You will be asked to lie down on a table, which will slide into the MRI machine, a donut-shaped tube surrounded by a magnet. For the duration of the study, you must remain still. Based on the area of the body being studied, an MRI scan can take between 15 – 90 minutes to complete. Afterward, you will be able to leave our offices and continue with your daily activities.
How Do You Prepare For An MRI?
The preparation for an MRI varies based on the type being conducted. Generally, there is no special preparation required for an MRI. Here are general guidelines to follow:
- Arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment. An early arrival allows our experienced technologists to explain the study and go over your current medical history without pushing back the start time of the study.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that doesn’t contain any metal material including belts, jewelry, buttons, or zippers.
- For certain MRIs, you may be asked to avoid eating or drinking prior to your appointment. Your referring doctor or our staff will provide specific details about any fasting requirements.
- If you have any metal artifacts inside your body including a cardiac device or hearing aid, please inform our staff and your referring doctor. At Larchmont Imaging, we can accommodate these devices but need to know in advance of the appointment day to ensure you visit the correct location where it is offered.
Why Should I Choose Larchmont Medical Imaging?
Larchmont Medical Imaging is the region’s diagnostic and advanced medical imaging partner. For over 50 years, we have provided state-of-the-art MRI imaging services to the South Jersey and Philadelphia areas at costs up to 60% less than hospital-based imaging centers. Larchmont Imaging offers four convenient office locations with same-day and next-appointments available.
To schedule your MRI appointment, fill out our request an appointment form or reach out to any of the following locations below:
- Medford Office – Medford, NJ
- Mount Laurel Office – Mount Laurel, NJ
- Moorestown Office – Moorestown, NJ
- Willingboro Office – Willingboro, NJ
Meet our board-certified, subspecialized radiologists who read and interpret our studies at Larchmont Medical Imaging here.
MRI imaging is a non-invasive technique that uses strong magnetic and radio waves to create detailed images of the body’s internal structures. Unlike X-rays or CT scans, MRIs do not use radiation and provide high-quality images of soft tissues, organs, ligaments, and discs.
MRI machines produce a magnetic field and radiofrequency waves to view the body at a cellular level. Protons in your cells emit signals when exposed to these waves. The MRI sensors detect these signals, which are then processed by a computer to create detailed images.
MRIs are useful for detecting and monitoring various medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems. These conditions include blood vessel abnormalities, tumors in the chest, abdomen, or pelvis, gastrointestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), heart conditions, joint injuries, liver, bile duct, or pancreatic diseases, and traumatic brain injuries like stroke.
During an MRI, you will lie down on a table that slides into the MRI machine, a donut-shaped tube surrounded by a magnet. It’s important to remain still throughout the study. Depending on the area being studied, an MRI scan can take between 15 to 90 minutes. Afterward, you can resume your daily activities.
Generally, there is no special preparation required for an MRI. However, it’s important to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing without metal materials. Depending on the specific MRI, you may be asked to avoid eating or drinking before the appointment. Inform our staff if you have any metal artifacts inside your body, such as a cardiac device or hearing aid.
Larchmont Medical Imaging is a trusted diagnostic and advanced medical imaging provider with over 50 years of experience. We offer state-of-the-art MRI imaging services at costs up to 60% less than hospital-based centers. With four convenient office locations, we offer same-day and next-appointment availability.