Sometimes the solution lies in detailing and MRI images provide those minutest details which get missed in other conventional radiological images. As the name implies, the imaging of the body part is done using a magnetic field, radio waves, and a software-enabled system. MRI scanning is one of the safest, painless, and non-invasive methods of capturing 3-Dimensional images of the body part. The MRI image’s detailing helps physicians for accurate diagnosis, and monitor the prognosis, and outcome of treatment in cancerous conditions. It provides details on the cognitive function of the brain too. As a routine, it is recommended for capturing images of soft tissues or non-bony parts of the body like the spinal cord, brain, nerves, tendons & ligaments, or muscles and preferred for shoulder or knee injuries.
Our Cloudex Scan centre with MRI Scan at pariyaram, Kannur is equipped with 1.5 TESLA GE MRI Machine that provides the best images with detailed reports giving a complete insight into clinical conditions supporting the referring physician for accurate diagnosis. The reduced scanning time also adds to the centre’s advantage by enabling it to deal with a big number of a wide range of patients with low-cost MRI scans in this region. The results of MRI scan is available to patient as a print as well as a copy to be shared over an email.
The MRI scan machine consists of a doughnut-shaped structure enclosing large magnets and a sliding table on which the patient lies. The large magnets create a magnetic field that excites the protons present in the water molecule of tissues. These excited protons spin out of equilibrium under the influence of radiofrequency and when radiofrequency is turned off, these protons release energy for realigning with the magnetic field. The released energy is captured and processed to create a cross-sectional image. This cross-section image is called a slice and many such slices form a one complete MRI scan. These images can be processed to create a 3-Dimensional image of the scanned part of the body. Sometimes contrast dye is injected for better visibility of tissue depending upon the part of the body getting scanned.
MRI imaging is used for various reasons – diagnosis/evaluation
- Cysts/tumours/abscesses/congenital anomalies in any part of the body
- Brain – anomalies, haemorrhage, infection/inflammation, fluid accumulation
- Spinal cord – degenerative disease, compression, inflammation,
- Injuries or fractures of joints, back, knee
- Cardiac and blood vessel problems – functional/anatomical
- Liver or abdominal disease
- Pelvic pain, fibroids in the uterus or endometriosis in women
- Infertility related evaluation
- Cancer screening
- Monitoring outcome of cancer treatment
- Cancer screening for breast following mammography
MRI scanning can be of different types depending upon the part of the body getting scanned and the purpose for it –
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) taps the changes that happen in blood flow due to activity in the brain. And helps in the evaluation of the severity or impact of stroke or any other disease in the brain. It is also considered for evaluating the functioning of the brain in any stage – normal, injury, or diseased condition.
- A breast scan is recommended for women having a high risk for breast cancer following mammography or for evaluating the cancer treatment outcome.
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a non-invasive scanning recommended for evaluating the abnormalities in blood vessels that are at high risk of stroke, heart disease or blood clots, etc. MRA is also considered for evaluation of blood vessels of abdominal organs, legs and arms. It is capable of detecting Aortic aneurysms, blood vessels affected by tumours, the presence of blood clots in veins of pelvis/limbs, and narrowing of limb’s arteries.
- Magnetic resonance venography (MRV) is a non-invasive imaging modality recommended for evaluating the vein problems, causes of chronic headaches, venous sinus thrombosis, increased cerebral fluid pressure, venous infarction, vein occlusion etc.
- Cardiac MRI is recommended for understanding the anatomy and functioning of the heart in patients at any stage – at the time of birth or those developed after birth providing the best images.
- Perfusion MRI is recommended for estimating the increase or decrease of blood flow in any part of the body like stroke or tumour.
- Magnetic resonance spectroscopy is recommended for detecting any disorder of the brain like Alzheimer’s disease, abscess or tumour in the brain, or seizure disorders. It can even reveal a tumour’s cell multiplication status or the presence of debris inside an abscess; also considered an important tool for evaluating any metabolic disorder in the muscular or nervous system.
Advantages with MRI scan:
- No exposure to harmful radiation and non-invasive
- Images with minutest detailing with prominent differentiation between different tissues – fat, water, muscle, soft tissue, bony structure
- Images can be captured of any part of the body from any angle
- Capable of covering body’s larger areas
- Recommended for a wide range of clinical situations of any part of the body
- No prior preparation is required and can return to normal working life immediately after the scan
Preparation for the MRI:
Depending upon the type of MRI advised, the patient will be given instructions as to preparation for MRI examination.
- No particular restriction on food and medicine consumption. If needed
- Sometimes a patient may be asked to wear loose clothes or change to a hospital gown while sedatives may be given to ease the anxiety. So, it is advised to leave back all valuables and jewellery at home.
- In case an allergic reaction to injected contrast dye is experienced by the patient, medical consultation is sought and treated.
- Anti-Anxiety medication is prescribed to ease the claustrophobic feeling before MRI examination
- Information to share with technician/radiologist
– Implanted devices – pacemaker / ICD (defibrillator)/stents/clips/vessel coil/insulin pump
– Implanted metal objects like plates / screws/surgical clips/ wire mesh
– Body piercing / permanent tattoos
– Medication patch
– Bullet wound
– Unable to lie down for more than 30 minutes
MRI Services at our Centre in Kannur –
- MRI Brain:
The brain is a complex nervous organ, that also encloses small structures like the pituitary gland and hypothalamus etc. MRI scan becomes the most ideal imaging modality for these soft tissues. It is recommended for brain conditions like –
- Tumour/cyst/bleeding or infection in the brain
- Accumulation of fluid in the brain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Aneurysm/abnormalities in blood vessels inside the brain
- Head injury
- Structural anomalies
- To locate the functionality centre in the brain for sensory organs
Chronic headache, dizziness, seizures, blurry vision or weakness are some of the symptoms which prompt the physician for recommending the MRI scan.
- MRI Neck:
The neck connects the head to the main body and encloses many connecting soft structures and bony vertebrae – the cervical spine. Symptoms like difficulty in swallowing, presence of lump, difficulty or discomfort in neck movements, enlarged lymph nodes, persistent pain/numbness/weakness etc can direct the physician to recommend the Neck MRI. It can help in evaluating or diagnosing the following –
- Herniated or bulged disc
- Disorder or deformity in cervical bone/joint/soft tissue
- Presence of tumour/lump
- Scoliosis or abnormality in spine curvature
- Before or after neck surgery/biopsy
- Planning for radiation therapy
- MRI Spine:
The spinal cord, being the core part of the central nervous system, plays an important role in carrying and controlling sensory signals and reflexes. It is present inside the vertebral canal and gives out many branches of nerves for connecting the different body parts with the brain. Doctors recommend MRI spine when the patient complains of back pain due to injury, bone swelling, compression fracture etc. MRI scan can reveal any structural anomalies or answer the cause of pain.
MRI spine can is recommended for diagnosis or evaluation of –
- Spinal abnormalities
- Cause for severe back pain
- Herniation or bulge in the disc
- Any pressure on the nerve or spinal cord
- Planning for any decompression spine surgery
- Impact of injury
- Presence of swelling/tumour in the vertebrae
- Vascular Imaging:
Vascular means vessels involved in the circulation of blood, nutrients, hormones, and metabolites. Disruption in this system due to blockade or leakage can result in serious health conditions. Sometimes malformation in the vascular system which may be congenital or developed later in life also results in severe health conditions. Vascular imaging with MRI helps in identifying the cause behind any vascular conditions like stroke, aneurysm, atherosclerosis, varicose vein or blood clot etc.
- Body Imaging:
Our body consists of hard and soft tissues, and MRI is capable of capturing the image of the entire body including fluid-filled organs as a snapshot. Body imaging will include details of the lungs, stomach, liver, pancreas, intestine, colon, kidneys, pelvis, and other abdominal parts. Physicians recommend for MRI for evaluation of –
- Infection/inflammation in lungs, thyroid or lymph nodes
- Pancreatic diseases or abnormalities
- Cirrhosis or abnormalities in bile ducts
- Tumours or abnormalities in lungs / stomach / liver / pancreas
- Venous occlusion / deep vein clots / vasculitis
- Inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Uro Imaging:
The recurrent infection or inflammation in the urinary system causes a lot of inconveniences and embarrassing situations for oneself and needs immediate medical attention. The physician considers recommending Uro imaging for patients complaining of – difficulty in urination or emptying the bladder, urinary incontinence, recurrent UTI, urinary urgency or frequency, blood in urine, pain in the abdomen/lower back/groin or kidney failure.
Uro imaging supports Physicians in evaluating or diagnosis or monitoring –
- Kidney disease
- Possibility of tumour
- Bladder capacity
- Enlargement of the prostate gland (in a male)
- Kidney stone
- Cancer treatment of urinary tract or bladder
- Women’s Imaging
Women’s health concerns are unique due to reproduction, pregnancy and menopause which need specialized testing and treatment (clinically/emotionally/socially). Different imaging modalities –are available to fulfil the need.
– USG for pelvic region / gestational imaging
– Mammography for cancer screening of breasts
– MRI for the whole body
– DEXA for bone density check
About 1.5 TESLA GE MRI machine in our centre:
It is a high-definition premium system for anatomically optimized imaging of any part of the body. It has been designed by a leading medical equipment company – GE for fulfilling all clinical practicality with the best quality images captured in a short scan time. It is capable of large data processes and archival offering high patient throughput. Some of the distinct features of this 1.5 TESLA machine are as follows –
- Provides images with enhanced clarity, contrast, and accuracy
- Reduced Examination Time
- Allows Feet-First and Head-Out Exams
- Body-related motion artifacts are eliminated
- Capable of acquiring and processing the images simultaneously
- Well shielded magnets offering high safety
- The wide diagnostic range for different clinical conditions – stroke, vascular imaging, breast imaging, injury or joint
- High on diagnostic capabilities with high patient satisfaction
- Wide sliding table for patient’s convenience
- An intercom communication system between patient and technician