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Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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. MRI also may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.


MR Imaging of the body is performed to evaluate:

  • Organs of the chest and abdomen—including the heart, liver, biliary tract, kidney, spleen, and pancreas and adrenal glands
  • Pelvic organs including the reproductive organs in men (e.g., prostate and testicles) and women(e.g., uterus, cervix and ovaries)
  • Blood vessels (e.g., MR Angiography)
  • Breasts

Physicians use the MR examination to help diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as:

  • Tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis
  • Certain types of heart problems
  • Blockages or enlargements of blood vessels, including the aorta, renal arteries, and arteries in the legs
  • 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
  • Tumors and other abnormalities of the reproductive organs (e.g., uterus, ovaries, testicles, prostate)
  • Causes of pelvic pain in women, such as fibroids, endometriosis and adenomyosis.
  • Suspected uterine congenital abnormalitynomalies in women undergoing evaluation for infertility
  • Breast cancer and implants

For an MRI test, the area of the body being studied is placed inside a special machine that contains a strong magnet. Pictures from an MRI scan are digital images that can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. The images also can be reviewed remotely, such as in a clinic or an operating room. In some cases, contrast material may be used during the MRI scan to show certain structures more clearly.





Other resources to find out more information on MRI technology:





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