Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan

  • Department of:
  • Adena Regional Medical Center

An MRI scan uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to create a detailed, cross-sectional image of the body’s internal organs and structures. The patient slides into the scanner, which looks like a large tube with a table in the middle, in order for the images to be obtained. An MRI scan differs from CT scans and X-rays, as it does not use potentially harmful ionizing radiation. The procedure is non-invasive and painless.

Uses for MRI

MRI scans are a convenient and fast way for physicians to get a clearer picture of a patient’s condition. The use of MRI is expanding in scope. An MRI scan would likely be used in one of the following scenarios:

  • Brain and spinal cord issues
  • Reviewing tumors, cysts, and other growth issues in various parts of the body
  • Breast cancer screening for women who face a high risk of developing the disease
  • Reviewing injuries or abnormalities of the joints, such as the back and knee
  • Certain types of heart problems
  • Diseases of the liver and other abdominal organs
  • Evaluating pelvic pain in women, with causes including fibroids and endometriosis
  • Suspected uterine issues in women undergoing evaluation for infertility

Cognitive Uses of MRI

MRIs are used to measure cognitive activity by monitoring blood flow to certain areas of the brain. This process has revolutionized brain mapping and spinal cord issues, and MRIs help physicians review the function of normal, diseased, or injured brains. Importantly, a functional MRI can also be used to determine the effects of tumors, stroke, head and brain injuries, or neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's.

Preparing for MRI

Compared with other medical testing, MRIs require very little in the way of preparation. Magnets are used, so physicians have to be sure no metal objects are present in the scanner on the patient’s body. Patients with any metal inside the body – such as a pacemaker, implants or aneurysm clips, likely aren’t appropriate for MRI scans. Some patients may be anxious about having an MRI, and medications to help ease this nervousness may be appropriate. To improve the visibility of the internal structures, patients are sometimes given an injection of contrast liquid.

Earplugs or headphones are given to block out the loud noises from the scanner – and this is especially important for children who could be frightened by the procedure. The entire procedure takes between 20 and 60 minutes.

Request Adena Health Radiology for your MRI

The Adena Regional Medical Center radiology services are offered in facilities located throughout southern Ohio. Visit the Adena Radiology page for more information on MRIs, others laboratory tests, forms, fasting information, and find a physician for your upcoming procedure.

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