Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves, to create images of the body’s internal organs and structures.
MRI provides physicians more detailed information that can’t otherwise be seen on other imaging methods such as x-rays, ultrasound exams, or CT scans. In some cases an intravenous (IV) contrast may be used during the MRI exam to show abnormal tissue more clearly.
An MRI exam may be performed to evaluate the:
- Head—looking for brain tumors, aneurysm & nerve injury
- Chest—looking at the heart, valves, and coronary blood vessels
- Blood vessels—looking at the flow of blood through the blood vessels & possible aneurysm
- Abdomen and pelvis—looking for tumors, bleeding, infection, and blockages in the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder
- Bones and joints—looking for arthritis, bone marrow problems, bone tumors, cartilage problems, torn ligaments, torn tendons, or infection
- Spine—looking at the discs and nerves for conditions such as spinal stenosis, disc bulges, and spinal tumors
- Breast—used to detect and stage breast cancer and other breast abnormalities