Conventional high field Magnetic Resonance Imaging systems usually operate at stronger field strengths than open MRI systems and typically provide clearer, more detailed and easier to read scans. On a high field or closed MRI system, the slices can be thinner, improving the information the physician uses to diagnose the problem.
High field MRI units may also take less time due to the higher magnetic field strength. High field scans can be one and a half to two times faster than an “open” scan. High field Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanners also provide the most advanced imaging techniques, some of which cannot be performed on an open scanner. Many optional accessories are available.
High field MRI systems are indicated for central nervous system and vascular studies – particularly contrast enhanced Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) studies, abdominal work that requires the patient to hold their breath, fat saturation techniques, certain cancer studies and any study that requires the highest resolution.
Types of scans that should be performed on a high field scanner include:
- Temporomandibular joints (TMJ)
- Brain – Sella
- Liver and pancreas
- Non-Brain MRA (i.e. aorta)
- Recent CVA
- Patients in severe pain or who can’t hold still
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a method of obtaining detailed pictures of internal body structures without the use of radiation or radioactive substances of any kind. This is accomplished by placing the patient in a magnetic field while harmless radio waves are turned on and off. This causes the body to emit its own weak radio signals which vary according to tissue characteristics. These signals are then picked up by a sensitive antenna and fed to a computer which produces detailed images of the body for interpretation by trained radiologists.
High Field MRI utilizes a cylindrical tube in which the magnet is enclosed. Patients are placed in the unit lying down, either head first or feet first. Since this configuration produces optimum magnetic field strength, the signal and images produced are of the highest quality. High Field MRI exams usually take 20 – 30 minutes.
You can help to produce a high quality image by lying still during the examination while breathing normally. The average scan takes 5 to 15 minutes – the complete examination about 30 to 45 minutes – during which several dozen images will be produced.
With incredible accuracy, MRI can detect many abnormalities which CT scanning and X-rays cannot, especially those involving soft tissue. In fact, MRI reduces the need for biopsies, exploratory surgery, and other diagnostic procedures which carry associated risk.
During the test you will neither see nor feel anything happen. It is totally painless and has no known side effects. Because no radiation or radioactive substances are used, patients requiring frequent scans avoid the potential danger of cumulative radiation exposure.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to find problems, such as tumors, bleeding, injury, blood vessel problems, or infection. An MRI may be done using contrast material to see abnormal tissue clearly. An MRI can be done for the:
- Head. MRI can look at the brain for tumors, an aneurysm, bleeding in the brain, nerve injury, and other problems, such as damage caused by a stroke. MRI can also find problems of the eyes and optic nerves, and the ears and auditory nerves.
- Chest. An MRI of the chest can look at the heart, the valves, and coronary blood vessels. It can show if the heart or lungs are damaged. MRI of the chest may also be used to look for breast or lung cancer.
- Blood Vessels. Using an MRI to look at blood vessels and the flow of blood through them is called magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA). It can find problems of the arteries and veins, such as an aneurysm, a blocked blood vessel, or a torn lining of a blood vessel (dissection). Sometimes contrast material is used to see the blood vessels more clearly.
- Abdomen and Pelvis. MRI can find problems in the organs and structures in the belly, such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder. It is used to find tumors, bleeding, infection, and blockage. In women, it can look at the uterus and ovaries. In men, it looks at the prostate.
- Bones and Joints. MRI can check for problems of the bones and joints, such as arthritis, problems with the temporomandibular joint, bone marrow problems, bone tumors, cartilage problems, torn ligaments or tendons, or infection. MRI can also tell if a bone is broken if an X-ray cannot. MRI is done more commonly than other tests to check some bone and joint problems.
- Spine. MRI can check the discs and nerves of the spine for conditions such as spinal stenosis, disc bulges, and spinal tumors.
At Spring Hill MRI we strive to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Our technologist is in constant contact with the patient throughout the exam. They can communicate throughout the exam. We provide headphones that streams your choice of music. We offer pillows, blankets and a sleep mask to help take your mind off the exam. In addition, we welcome a family member, if they don’t have a pace maker, into the exam room to give you a piece of mind.