Magnetic Resonance Imaging
As the name indicates, magnetic resonance images are made utilizing magnetism and resonance. Human bodies contain a large number of hydrogen atoms, as these are basic building blocks in water and fat. By placing your body inside a large magnet the hydrogen atoms will spin aligned with the field of that magnet instead of spinning in their usual random directions. Then the atoms are knocked out of this alignment with perturbing radiofrequency pulses. The axis of spin changes in a way that is controllable and predictable-and measurable using the resonance given off by the atoms as their spins change. Different tissues will "resonate" differently allowing a greatly detailed picture of their structure. MRI is an excellent tool for imaging soft tissues, however the high magnetic fields used require screening questions of every patient before their exam.
MRI exams at Genesis are performed by registered Radiologic Technologists who must successfully complete MRI registry.
What to Expect
You will be asked a series of questions to identify any possible metals, implants or devices that may be unsafe to have within the magnetic fields. Although MRI exam times vary according to the specific body part being imaged, they generally take 30 to 90 minutes. Please wear comfortable loose fitting clothes that do not contain metal, and leave any jewelry at home. You will be asked to leave all metal objects, electronic devices and cards containing magnetic strips outside of the scan room. You will lie on a table that moves into a large tunnel like opening in the machine. You will be able to hear the technologist, who will monitor you from the adjoining control room. You will also be able to hear the scanning itself, which makes a thumping noise.
The MR technologist will take a series of images appropriate to the body part is being examined. The images will be sent to and stored on PACS. A Radiologist will interpret the images and dictate a report that with be typed and sent to the doctor that ordered the exam.