Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is a painless and safe diagnostic procedure that uses a powerful magnet and radiowaves to produce detailed images of the body's organs and structures, without the use of X-rays or other radiation.
A computer converts signals from the MRI scan into extremely clear, cross-sectionalimages of the part of the body that has been scanned. Each image is a slice of the body area scanned, and numerous images are created that clearly show all the features of that particular part of thebody.
The images produced by MRI can be compared to a sliced loaf of bread. Just as you can lift each individual slice from the loaf and see both the slice and the inside of the bread, so too the image"slices" produced by the MRI show the exact details of the inside of the body.
The computer is able to reconstruct all the images into a single image resembling an X-ray. This reconstruction also canbe made into three-dimensional images, allowing complete and remarkable visualization of the body area scanned from all angles
MRI is arguably the greatest advance in diagnostic medical techniquesover the past century.
How Does Magnetic Resonance Imaging Work?
Unlike CT, or computed tomography-another type of imaging-MRI uses no radiation. Instead, MRI uses a powerful magnet and radio wavesto produce high-quality, cross-sectional pictures of the part of the body being studied. Each picture represents a virtual slice through the part of the body being imaged.
* The MRI scanningmachine is a large donut-shaped magnet with a sliding scanning table. A person lies on this table, which then slides into the desired position in the MRI magnet. The machine produces loud, repetitivenoises, like banging, during the procedure. But these noises, while unpleasant at times, aren't dangerous or indicative of a problem.
* In our bodies, the nuclei of hydrogen atoms (called protons)...