What you need to know about:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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Overview of

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

in Thailand

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, am MRI does not use ionizing radiation (i.e., x-rays). Detailed magnetic resonance images allow physicians to better evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods such as x-ray or ultrasound.

Goals of

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRIs can be used to help detect and analyze the following abnormalities of the body:  Tumors Abnormality of spine Abnormality of bones, joints and muscles Certain types of heart problems Blockages or enlargements of blood vessels Diseases of the liver, such as cirrhosis, and that of other abdominal organs, including the bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreatic ducts Cysts and solid tumors in the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract Causes of pelvic pain in women, such as fibroids, endometriosis and adenomyosis Breast tumors

Price of

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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Pros and cons of

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Pros

-MRIs are non-invasive and does not use radiation.

-MRIs gives clear, detailed images of neurologic structures such as brain, neck and spine that other imaging techniques cannot achieve.

-MRIs can show liver diseases better than other imaging techniques.

-MRIs has proven value in diagnosing a broad range of conditions, including cancer, heart and vascular disease, and muscular and bone abnormalities.

-MRIs allows assessing blood vessel noninvasively.

-MRI contrasting agent is less likely to produce an allergic reaction that may occur when iodine-based substances are used for x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scan.

-A special MRI technique called magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy can provide additional information on the chemicals present in the body's cells

Cons

-MRI scans are usually done in an enclosed space and the loud noises that are made by the magnets can make some people feel fearful of being in a closely enclosed surface while they are having a MRI scan. As such, there are alternatives ways to combat this problem with the availability of open MRIs.

How it works:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

The medical technologist personnel will guide you on to our MRI scan table. Straps and bolsters may be used to help you stay still and maintain the correct position during imaging. A small receiving device is placed behind or around the part of your body being scanned. You are moved into the scanning tube. You will usually be alone in the exam room during the MRI procedure. But a friend or family member may be allowed to stay in the room with you. It is normal for the area of your body being imaged to feel slightly warm, but if it bothers you, notify the technologist. It is important that you remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded, which is typically only 2-5 minutes at a time. You will know when images are being recorded because you will hear tapping or thumping sounds. You will be able to relax between imaging sequences. For some types of exams, you may be asked to hold your breath.   During your MRI examination, the magnetic resonance system operator will be able to speak to you, hear you, and observe you at all times. Consult the scanner operator if you have any questions or feel anything unusual.   You may be given earplugs or headphones to wear to reduce the noise of the MRI scanner. For some MRI scans, you will be given an injection of a special dye, known as a contrast agent. A nurse will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm before scan. A contrast agent will be injected into the intravenous line (IV) after 30-45 minutes. It is very important to keep still during the injection.

Preparation before

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Pre - treatment

You are required to complete an MRI safety questionnaire before scanning. You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or you may be allowed to wear your own clothing if it is loose-fitting and has no metal fasteners. You can eat and drink normally on the day of the scan except for some specific procedures that you may be asked not to eat or drink for a period of time before scanning.   For some MRI scans, you will be given an injection of a special dye, known as a contrast agent. Some conditions, such as severe kidney disease, hypertension or diabetes may prevent you from being given a contrast agent. It may be necessary to perform a blood test to determine whether the kidneys are functioning adequately. However, the contrast material used for an MRI exam, called gadolinium, does not contain iodine and is less likely to cause side effects or an allergic reaction. Women should always inform their physician or staff if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. To date, there are no reports of any ill effects on pregnant women or their babies from MRI. However, because the baby will be in a strong magnetic field, pregnant women should not have this exam unless the potential benefit from the MRI is assumed to outweigh the potential risks. If you have claustrophobia or anxiety, you may ask your physician or MRI staff for a prescription for a mild sedative prior to the scheduled examination.   Due to the strong magnetic fields that are used by the MRI scanner, it is important to remove any metal objects from your body, including: Watches, jewelry, credit cards and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged Piercings, such as ear, nipple and nose rings Dentures (false teeth) Wigs (as some wigs contain traces of metal)   In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types of the following: Artificial heart valves Implanted electronic device, including a cardiac pacemaker Electronic inner ear implants (bionic ears) Implanted nerve stimulators   If you have any of these, experienced MRI staff will have to discuss the exact implant or metal with you to decide if it is safe to perform the scan. Deciding which implants cannot be scanned takes special knowledge and experience. Please do not try to guess, and do not just rely on your doctor to determine if we can scan you. Some people with tattoos have reported a burning sensation during an MRI scan. This is because some tattoo ink contains traces of metal. If, during the scan, you experience any pain related to your tattoo, tell the technologists immediately.

Recovery after

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Post - treatment

There is no special care required after an MRI scan. If contrast dye is used for the procedure, it is important to drink plenty of water (about 1-2 liters) after the examination. For the woman who is breastfeeding, it is advised to wait for 48 hours after receiving a contrast injection before breastfeeding again. Risks and complications Claustrophobic patients may find it difficult to stay still in the MRI scanner. Usually, a mild sedative is given to relieve the symptoms. The risk of over sedation for claustrophobia is tackled by close monitoring of vital signs during the procedure. Undetected metal implants in the body may produce unsatisfactory consequences since they are affected by a strong MRI magnet. Since MRI is very sensitive to motion, image blurring is common. This can occur if you cannot hold your breath well. Blurred images may reduce the ability of your physicians to give an accurate impression of your diseases. There is a very small chance that you could develop an allergic reaction to the MRI contrast agent, or that a skin infection could develop at the site of injection. We do not routinely perform MRI with contrast agent in patients with poor kidney function. In these patients, there is an increased risk of developing a rare but potentially lethal disease called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) if they received an MRI contrast agent.

Risks & side effects

Due to the operational nature of MRI, which involves a very high magnetic field, patients who have any metallic materials within the body must notify their physician prior to the examination or inform the MRI staff. Patients who have heart pacemakers, metal implants, or metal chips or clips in or around the eyeballs cannot be scanned with an MRI because of the risk that the magnet may move the metal in these areas. Similarly, patients with artificial heart valves, metallic ear implants, bullet fragments, and chemotherapy or insulin pumps should not have MRI scanning.

FAQs:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What are the recommendations for Travel Before and After the Procedure?

There are no limitations for travel before or after the procedure.

What does an MRI look like?

The traditional MRI unit is a large cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet. You will lie on a moveable examination table that slides into the center of the magnet. The computer workstation that processes the imaging information is located in a room adjacent to the scanner.

What is the difference between a closed MRI and open MRI?

Closed MRIs has been around longer than the open MRIs. Like what is featured in movies and television that involves going into a tunnel, a closed MRI requires patients to lie down inside a capsule-like to have high-quality images taken. The system includes a large magnet and radio wave that sends signals and receives signals to and from your body. A computer that’s attached to the scanner converts the returning signals into images. The image results are highly detailed and allow doctors to come up with a correct diagnosis and tailor an individualized treatment plan for your ailment. The scan’s shape enables it to generate pictures of areas other scans don’t have available, which means closed MRIs are essential in some cases.   Open MRIs are exactly what they sound like. They’re open, but they still use magnets for taking images of your body’s insides. Rather than being an enclosed capsule, these use a magnetic bottom and top and all four sides are open. This type of MRI is ideal for patients who suffer from claustrophobia which helps reduce their risks of panic attacks and claustrophobia exponentially, allowing doctors to make use of an MRI to diagnose their condition accurately.

What happens if I am claustrophobic?

Claustrophobia is a serious condition that may prevent patients from having a medically necessary MRI scan. If you are prone to claustrophobia or panic attacks, or are in any way concerned about how you could react during the scanning procedure, talk to your doctor about medication options and choosing the least confining MRI option for your scan, such as an open MRI or open CT scan.

Can I have an MRI if I am pregnant?

MRI scans aren't usually recommended for pregnant women. Although they're thought to be generally safe to use in later pregnancy (after 3 months), it's not known whether the strong magnetic fields have any long-term effects on the developing baby.

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