Non-Invasive Diagnosis With an MRI

While x-rays can be an important first step when diagnosing diseases inside the body, MRI scanners can provide a doctor with a more detailed picture of organs and tissues. Medical facilities with an open MRI scanner can provide the next step in identifying the cause of a condition. Read on to learn more about MRIs and their benefit in the medical field.

What is an MRI?

MRI, which stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is an imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to interact with the water inside the body to produce detailed images. The pictures it produces are cross-sections that can be viewed at different angles. Compared to the flat image of an x-ray, MRIs allow doctors to view a more three-dimensional image of an area.

Types of MRIs

Standard MRIs are used to examine tissues and organs throughout the body for any abnormalities, but functional MRIs are a technique specifically for the brain. Functional MRIs assess how much blood is flowing to specific areas of the brain. The higher the blood flow, the more active the nerve cells in that section. When the brain is damaged through injury or disease, certain areas will show decreases in blood flow.

Types of MRI Scanners

The classic MRI scanner is a long tube, and the patient is placed inside as the scanner takes the necessary pictures. For some patients, this can cause anxiety due to the claustrophobic nature of the machine. Open MRIs remove the cylinder, allowing patients to feel less enclosed. In addition to calming the nerves of an anxious patient, open MRIs allow a doctor better access to the patient and allows the patient to be positioned in a way to acquire the best images.

MRIs are an important part of digital imaging, allowing doctors to diagnose conditions without invasive tests. The high-quality images of an MRI can improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, improving patient quality of life.