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What Can Be Detected with an MRI?

Diagnostic tests complement the physical examination and medical history carried out by the doctor in consultation. They help to know if a person has a certain pathology and, if so, what is its origin. There are some tests, such as magnetic resonance or CT, that study certain parts of the body MRI for hand is a good example in detail and provides a lot of information.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) consists of a painless and non-invasive examination that allows obtaining images of the interior of the body. You can detect pathologies and monitor already diagnosed diseases. Through this test, the organs, breasts, the brain, and the state of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons… etc) are observed and the recognition of herniated discs (vertebral column), heart attacks and tumors are facilitated.

Thus, depending on the study area, there are different types of MRIs. The most used are:

  • Chest MRI.
  • head MRI.
  • cervical MRI.
  • MRI for hand.
  • Abdominal MRI.
  • Pelvic MRI.
  • MRI heart.
  • Lumbar MRI.
  • MRI angiography.
  • MRI venography, which facilitates the detection of thrombi and heart attacks, among others.

Sometimes it may be necessary for the patient to be administered, intravenously in the hand or arm, some contrast medium.  This has the purpose of altering the properties of water molecules, making images of the organism more easily visible and facilitating diagnosis.

To carry out this test, it is necessary for the patient to fast for 4 to 6 hours. In addition, you cannot carry any metallic object. In the event that the patient wears a removable oral prosthesis (dentures), it must be removed beforehand. If you have a pacemaker, vascular stent, or any other cardiac device, it is important that you notify your physician so that steps can be taken to prevent potential interference. All this information must be provided by the health personnel to the patient.

How is an MRI performed?

The patient is introduced into a large, elongated cubical machine, in which he must lie down for a certain time, depending on the area to be studied. The resonances are normally closed, but there are some that have an uncovered part, for people who suffer from claustrophobia or anxiety. In these cases, the patient can also be told to take a relaxing drug or even perform the test under anesthesia. Children under 4 years of age are sedated to facilitate the performance of the test.

As the machine emits a series of loud sounds or vibrations, the patient is sometimes offered to wear headphones, in case it bothers them. In the event that the patient is unwell, a pulse button is also provided so that he can notify the health personnel.

The main advantage of MRI is that it does not emit ionizing radiation, so it is not a dangerous test. This is the main difference with other widely used radiological tests, such as CT (computerized axial tomography).

In short, this complementary test, used more and more frequently, makes it possible to detect:

  • Brain defects (central nervous system).
  • Muscular and bone defects (ligaments, joints…).
  • Defects in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Defects of the prostate or uterus.
  • cardiovascular defects.
  • abdominal defects.
  • Oncological defects (cancer).
  • Defects in different organs such as the liver, spleen, kidney, pancreas…

Once this examination is carried out, generally by a radio diagnostic technician, the radiologist makes a report in which he reflects on what he sees in the images. Subsequently, this report is assessed by the specialist who has prescribed the test.

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