MRI, MRA, MRCP
At Teaneck Radiology Center, we have recently installed a new MRI suite with a short- bore magnet. With a short-bore magnet, there is an improved comfort level which can ease the sensation of claustrophobia.
What is MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, uses magnetic and radio waves to provide clear and detailed diagnostic images of internal body organs and tissues. There is no radiation exposure with MRI. There are no known harmful effects from the magnetic field.
MRI is a valuable tool for the diagnosis of a broad range of conditions, including:
- neurological disorders
- joint and musculoskeletal disorders
- spine disorders
- vascular evaluation
- womens's imaging
- breast evaluation
MRI allows evaluation of some body structures that may not be as visible with other diagnostic imaging methods.
What are some common uses of MRI?
Imaging of the Musculoskeletal System: MRI is often used to study the hip, knee, ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. MRI is a highly accurate method for evaluation of soft tissue structures such as tendons and ligaments, which are seen in great detail, and which are not seen on standard Xrays. Even subtle injuries are easily detected.
In addition, MRI is used for the diagnosis of spinal problems including disc herniation, spinal stenosis, and spinal tumors.
Imaging of the Brain: MRI gives exquisite detain of the brain. It is useful to evaluate a large number of neurological disorders such as headaches, stroke, growth disturbances, seizures, and dementia.
Imaging of the Abdomen and Pelvis: Organs of the abdomen such as the liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands can be examined in great detail with MRI. This aids in the diagnosis and evaluation of tumors and functional disorders. Furthermore because there is no radiation exposure is involved, MRI is often used for examination of the male and female reproductive systems.
How should I prepare for an MRI?
The presence of metal in or on your body is a safety hazard for an MRI exam. There are also certain medical conditions which may prevent you from having an MRI exam. You will be asked a series of questions by the staff at Teaneck Radiology to determine whether you may have this exam.
Our technologist will have you remove all accessories including hair pins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, wigs, dentures. During the exam, these metal objects may interfere with the magnetic field, affecting the quality of the MRI images taken.
Our technologist or scheduler will ask you if you have:
- any prosthetic joints – hip, knee
- a heart pacemaker (or artificial heart valve), defibrillator or artificial heart value
- an intrauterine device (IUD),
- any metal plates, pins, screws, or surgical staples in your body.
- tattoos and permanent make-up.
- a bullet or shrapnel in your body, or ever worked with metal.
- if you might be pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.
What should I expect during this exam?
Depending on how many images are needed, the exam generally takes 30 to 45 minutes. However, very detailed studies may take longer.
- You will lie down on a sliding table and be comfortably positioned.
- Even though the technologists must leave the room, you will be able to communicate with them at any time using an intercom.
- If necessary, we allow a friend or family member to stay in the room with you during the exam. This is particularly true if you are a parent and you want to stay in the room with your child.
- Depending on the part of the body being examined, a contrast material may be injected into your vein to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels.
What will I experience during an MRI?
- MRI is painless.
- The technologist monitors you throughout the exam and will tell you what to expect during the course of the exam. A microphone will enable you to be in constant contact.
- Some claustrophobic patients may experience a "closed in" feeling. Our short-bore MRI machine has helped to alleviate this feeling. However, if you still have an issue of claustrophobia, we have light sedation available under the direction of an anesthesiologist. (See our sedation section for more information.)
- You will hear loud tapping or thumping during the exam. Earplugs or earphones will be provided to you by our technologist. You also have the option of listening to music.
- You may feel warmth in the area being examined. This is normal.
- If a contrast injection is needed, there may be some discomfort at the injection site. You may also feel a cool sensation at the site during the injection.
Summit Anesthesia Associates provides anesthesia in the form of intravenous sedation for our patients. Their highly skilled team of anesthesiologists care for both pediatric and adult patients undergoing MRI scanning. Sedation may be used for those patients who have claustrophobia or pain or children who are not able to remain still during the course of the exam. They have been caring for children and adults in this capacity for over a decade at multiple sites throughout New Jersey. Their group includes pediatric fellowship-trained anesthesiologists in addition to highly experienced general anesthesiologists.
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