Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR or MRI)
What is MRI?
MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a routine diagnostic procedure that employs strong electromagnets, radio frequency waves, and powerful computers to generate two- and three-dimensional images of the body's organs, tissues, and bones. MR imaging does not use ionizing radiation (X-rays).
How does MR work?
MR uses a large, tube-shaped magnet that creates a strong magnetic field around the patient. A radio frequency coil is placed over the body part that is to be imaged. The magnetic field, along with applied radio frequency waves, alters the alignment of hydrogen protons within the body. Computers reconstruct the images based on emitted signals from the protons.
When might MR be needed?
Your physician may request an MR study for a number of reasons. MR is often used to obtain specific diagnostic information not already provided by other imaging technologies such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and nuclear medicine.
MR may be needed to rule out disease and to facilitate medical, surgical, and other treatments for conditions including congenital and developmental disorders, cancer, genetic and metabolic diseases, infections and inflammatory conditions, traumatic and other types of injury, and vascular and blood diseases.