The Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is a kind of test which mainly uses some powerful magnets, computer and radio waves in order to get detailed picture of a human body. Here, the doctor can use this test in order to see how well a patient has responded to the treatment. MRI is different from usual X Rays and CT scans because MRI never uses the ionizing radiation of X rays which is very much damaging.
There are many MRI scan centres in Hyderabad and one can go and get a test done when the doctor prescribes them to do so. This is because, an MRI test can help the doctor to diagnose a particular injury or disease and also help them to monitor that how a patient is doing after the treatment. MRI can be done in different parts of the human body but this one is very much useful to look at the nervous system and soft tissues in a human being.
When an MRI is done for the brain and spinal cord, then the reasons why doctors have prescribed them are to find out:
- Brain injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Blood vessel damage
- Spinal cord injuries
When an MRI is prescribed for heart and blood vessels it is going to look for:
- Damages caused by a heart attack
- Blocked blood vessels
- Problems with the structure of the heart
- Heart disease
If an MRI is prescribed for joints and bones then it is to look at:
- Bone infections
- Damage to joints
- Disc problems in the spine
- Neck or low back pain with nerve signs
There are other human organs for which MRI can also be done. They are:
- Breasts in women
- Ovaries in women
- Prostate in men.
There is also a special kind of test or an MRI is done on human bodies and it is known as FMRI or the functional MRI which is mainly done to map the brain activities. This test is mainly done to get a proper look at the blood flow present in the brain and to see which areas are active when one does certain activities pr tasks. This FMRI is mainly done to check the brain problems like the effects of strokes or for some brain mapping to find if one needs a brain surgery due to brain tumours or epilepsy.
How does one prepare for an MRI?
Before going for an MRI test, one should let the doctor know:
- If they have any kind of health issues like liver or kidney diseases.
- Have undergone through a surgery.
- Have got allergies from any kind if medicine or food.
- Have asthma or other breathing issues.
- Have a chance of becoming pregnant or already is pregnant.
One should remember that there are no metals allowed in the MRI room and this is because the machine that is used in the test has a string magnetic field which can easily attract metals. So, one needs to inform the doctor if they have any metal based devices inside the body. They can be:
- Body piercings
- Artificial heart valves
- Drug pumps
- Cochlear implants
- Implanted nerve stimulator
- Fillings and other dental work
- Metal fragments, like a bullet or shrapnel
- Insulin pump
- Pacemaker or implantable cardio verter defibrillator also known as the ICD
- Pins or screws
- Metal joints or limbs
- Tattoos because some of the tattoo inks also contain metals.
During the time of the test, the patient needs to wear something comfortable and loose which should not have any kind of metal fasteners. In fact, in hospitals the patients need to take off their clothes and wear a loose gown before they take the test.
When one enters the MRI room they need to leave behind certain things. They are:
- Cell phones
- Hearing aids
- Underwire bra
If one has problem with enclosed spaces or they feel nervous about the test then they need to tell this to their doctors. Then the doctor can help one to take an open MRI test or prescribe a medicine which can help them to relax.
How do MRI machines look like?
Well, a typical MRI machine actually looks like a large tube which has hole in both the ends. There is also a very strong magnet which surrounds the tube. The patients need to lie on the table and once they are ready, the table slides inside the tube. The part of the human body which is needed to be examined is especially inside the tube and the rest can be outside the machine.
There is an open MRI which can also happen and here the machine is open from all the sides. This is a kind of machine which is mainly used on the patients if they have claustrophobia or the fear of tight spaces. Also, if a patient is overweight then this method can be used. But the quality of images acquired from an open MRI is not as good as closed MRI’s.
Procedure of the test
Before the MRI the doctor can inject a contrast dye in the vein of the arm or the hands of the patient. This dye actually helps the doctor to see the structures inside the human body more clearly. But when this dye is injected it can leave a metal taste in one’s mouth.
There are some specialist MRI hospitals Hyderabad where the procedure is done properly. A normal MRI mainly takes 30 to 45 minutes to take place depending on the organ which is mainly tested. But if one is pregnant, it is a good idea not to take the test if they are in the first trimester. They need to consult the doctor for another way out.