An MRI scan helps medical professionals to diagnose and detect a variety of health conditions that aren’t otherwise visible to the naked eye.
But before listing the dangerous and possible death-causing damages in the body that can be detected with an MRI scan, let’s see what this machine is and how does it work.
What Is An MRI?
The MRI, also known as Magnetic Resonance Imagery, is a pain-free process that involves the use of magnetic waves to show images in the body.
It differs from the CAT Scan and CT scan because there is no radiation involved when processing the images.
The machine consists of a donut-shaped tubule of a magnet that usually will have a tunnel running in the center.
Typically the opening of the center will be large in length, but there are larger ones that exist to combat conditions such as claustrophobia.
You will find these machines located in most hospitals and radiology places.
What Happens When The MRI Scan Is Being Done?
During the time of the MRI exam, the machine is using radio waves to manipulate the position of the atoms that are in your body. These atoms are then picked up by an antenna and sent to some sort of computer.
With that, the computer is simultaneously intaking the positions of the atom while performing a bunch of calculations which result in clear, cross-sectioned 3D images of the area that is scanned.
What Can An MRI Scan Detect?
With the MRI scan, you can see a variety of conditions. The most common that are found are cysts, tumors, bleeding/swelling, and developmental abnormalities and infections that could exist.
The exam can also detect damages in the body which could be possible of causing death or stroke.
Here are some more details about the conditions that can be detected using the MRI exam:
A cyst is usually some sort of abnormal growth of noncancerous tissue that is either filled with a liquid or some level of semisolid substance.
Cysts can sometimes cause pain in the area they exist.
Similar to the cyst, a tumor is also another form of abnormal growth tissue. The thing with the tumor is that not all of them are noncancerous.
There are two different forms:
The one that you do not want is the malignant one since that is the cancerous type of tumor.
3. Joint Injury Or Damaged Ligaments
Soft tissue injuries can be easily detected with an MRI scan. But a medical professional might also use ultrasounds to accurately detect damaged ligaments or other joint injuries.
Joint injuries are very common in contact sports such as football, soccer, basketball, etc. But they might also occur in any physical activity that involves movement (pretty much all sports).
Usually, if you experience pain in your joints, muscles, or bones, your doctor will recommend you for an MRI exam.
4. Spinal Injury
MRI scans allow the specialist to evaluate your spine in detail and detect possible spinal cord injuries or traumas.
As opposed to an X-ray examination where only the bones are visible, in an MRI scan you can see both the hard and the soft tissues of the spine, such as ligaments, cord, disks, and vasculature.
5. Internal Organs Injury
Injury or disease of internal organs of the body can only be discovered during an MRI scan. These include brain damage, heart abnormalities, or other internal organs injuries.
For that matter, anything inside your body (bone, muscle, ligament, organ) can be scanned and diagnosed with an MRI.
What Can I Do To Prepare For An MRI Exam?
To prepare for the MRI exam, you don’t have to do anything since the process is pain-free.
The only thing that will need to be done is the removal of anything that contains metal (jewelry, watches, glasses) to make sure that the process doesn’t detect and create the wrong images.
There will be questions that are going to be asked such as whether or not you have had surgery in the past or anything that pertains to containing metal in the body.
For the process of the MRI scan, you will need to lie down during the exam. Sedation may be used if you are not used to being in tight spaces or do not like the sound while the test is being commenced.
If you plan to be sedated, you will need to make sure you have had some period of time where you have stopped eating a few hours before the exam.
Whether you’ll have to undergo an MRI examination or no, it’s always good to know what this non-invasive procedure is and how it can help specialists diagnose a possible condition.