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Magnetic resonance imaging-MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases, MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan.

An MRI scan is one of the most sophisticated diagnostic tools available to help a referring clinician understand the cause of your particular health issue.

What can be diagnosed by an MRI scan?

By scanning the relevant sector(s) of a patient’s body, an MRI scan can help to diagnose the following:

  • most ailments of the brain, including tumours and dementias
  • sports injuries
  • musculoskeletal problems
  • most spinal conditions/injuries
  • vascular abnormalities
  • female pelvic problems
  • prostate problems
  • some gastrointestinal tract conditions
  • certain ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions
  • soft tissue and bone pathology/conditions

Who can’t have an MRI scan?

Due to the powerful magnetic force involved in producing an MRI scan, certain individuals will not be scanned. You must not have an MRI scan if you have:

  • a cardiac (heart) pacemaker
  • certain clips in your head from brain operations, i.e. aneurysm clips
  • a cochlear (ear) implant
  • a metallic foreign body in your eye
  • had surgery in the last 8 weeks
  • a programmable shunt for hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain)
  • if you are pregnant

 

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