What is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe diagnostic imaging procedure that combines a powerful magnet, radio frequency waves and computers to view the body without subjecting you to x-ray or potentially harmful ionizing radiation. MRI provides high quality contrast resolution (the ability to distinguish two separate but similar structures from each other) images of the soft tissue structures in the body. The “banging” noises associated with the exam are the magnetic gradient fields changing rapidly to produce cross-sectional pictures of the body from various angles. MRI has become instrumental in the diagnoses and treatment planning of a multitude of ailments ranging from cancer, sports related injuries, neurological and vascular disease processes. For certain medical conditions, MRI may provide better overall diagnostic quality images than other imaging studies.
Physicians who recommend that their patients get a MRI study must be knowledgeable about the examination and the patient’s medical/surgical history as there are electrical, mechanical, and surgical devices that may be contraindicated presenting potential risks to the patient. The benefits of MRI technology when used appropriately can help diagnose and evaluate many disease processes, however, the quality of the MRI examination is dependent on knowledgeable staff that are ordering, performing, and interpreting the MRI procedures.
The facility who is doing your MRI will ask you to complete an extensive clinical history screening sheet. This is to determine if you have undergone any previous surgeries that would have included implantation of medical devices. Any implanted medical device must be cleared before you enter the MRI suite.
IAC offers an online tool to assist patients in locating an IAC-accredited facility. When scheduling a test, patients should research the accreditation status of the facility. To find an IAC MRI accredited facility, visit the IAC Accredited Facility Locator and select MRI under Modalities.