MRI is one of the newest and most technically elegant examinations ordered. The scan relies on the use of a large magnet and radio transmitters and receiver to visualize the atoms of the body. The scanner is able to form images that provide a highly accurate roadmap of the human anatomy.
MRI produces detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. Detailed MR images allow physicians to better evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods such as x-ray, ultrasound or computed tomography.
MRI is commonly used to visualize problems of the brain and spinal cord. Tumor diagnosis and problems of the vascular system and bones and joints are other popular applications of these scan techniques.
The scan can take between 30 minutes to an hour in general. Not everybody can have an MRI. If you have a pacemaker or automatic defibrillator, this test may not be right for you. Because of the higher cost of the MRI scan, this test is commonly ordered when a diagnostic solution cannot be obtained by other techniques, and authorization from your insurance company may be required.