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MRI | Two Views

See why MRI scans are needed in words and pictures.

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In words:

Why would you need an MRI scan?

An MRI scan can be used as an extremely accurate method of disease detection throughout the body. They may be done to provide more information about a problem seen on an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan and, in some cases, provide more information than any of these other procedures.

An MRI scan is apt at presenting clear pictures of the body that are surrounded by bone tissue, so the technique is useful when examining the brain and spinal cord. Neurosurgeons use MRI scans in defining a patient’s brain anatomy. These scans can also show any bleeding or swelling in that region.

A head MRI can often find abnormalities such as brain aneurysms, stroke, tumors of the brain, as well as tumors or inflammation of the spine. MRI scans can show the strands of abnormal tissue that occur if someone has multiple sclerosis. They often make it is possible to see changes occurring when there is bleeding in the brain, or find out if the brain tissue has suffered lack of oxygen after a stroke.

Doctors and Surgeons also use MRI scans to evaluate spinal cords after a trauma since they can show problems associated with the vertebrae or intervertebral discs of the spine.

MRI scans are often done to evaluate the structure of the heart and aorta, where they can show aneurysms or tears. They are able to detect heart defects that have been building up since birth, as well as changes in the thickness of the muscles around the heart following a heart attack.

MRI scans provide valuable information on glands and organs within the abdomen, and accurate information about the structure of the joints, soft tissues, and bones of the body.

Because the MRI scan gives very detailed pictures it is the best technique when it comes to finding tumors (benign or malignant abnormal growths) in the brain, including if or how much it may be spread into nearby brain tissue. The method can also be used to examine the joints, spine and sometimes the soft parts of your body such as the liver, kidneys and spleen.

Often, surgery can be deferred or more accurately directed after knowing the results of an MRI scan and that in itself may be a good reason to have an MRI.

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In pictures:

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