Magnetic resonance imaging is a kind of scanning procedure that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to develop high-definition images of the human body. These images are typically much more detailed than their equivalent X-ray or ultrasound scans. Here are five illnesses and injuries that are detectable using MRI scanning.
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Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are relatively common – but they can lead to extremely complex health problems. A traumatic brain injury is caused by any sudden damage to the brain. This can either be from a blunt trauma – such as those suffered by boxers in the ring – or a piercing trauma – something actually entering the skull and harming the brain. MRI scans can help diagnose traumatic brain injuries correctly by identifying hematomas. Hematomas are ruptured blood vessels. Any bleeding on the brain is extremely dangerous. If you have suffered a severe head injury, then getting a scan performed at an MRI imaging center is a very good idea.
An MRI scan is one of the first steps in the diagnostic process for brain tumors after a patient has complained about symptoms. A special dye known as a contrast medium is given to the patient before the scan. This allows doctors and radiologists to pick out tumorous tissue in the brain using images from the MRI. Scanning for a tumor can be a scary experience, but radiologists and doctors will, if they are good practitioners, put patients at ease as much as possible during the process.
MRI scanning can also be used to assess complex ocular injuries. MRI scans allow doctors to see eye tissue in detail that would otherwise only be possible if they performed invasive and dangerous surgery.
Interestingly, patients should receive thorough eye exams before they get an MRI scan. This is because the strong magnet used in the scanning process will dislodge any metal filings stuck in the eye – a surprisingly common occurrence for people who work with metal. Because of the standardization of pre-scan checkups, MRIs are very safe indeed.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are very dangerous, and any serious spinal injury should be thoroughly inspected before physical activity is resumed. The spinal cord is a crucial part of the nervous system, and any damage to it can result in long-lasting impairment. Most doctors are very hesitant when it comes to recommending spinal surgery – as this could make any problem much worse if it is carried out before a proper diagnosis. Instead, most doctors will recommend a series of scans first. This often includes an MRI scan.
MRI scans are used in the diagnosis of both common types of arthritis. Doctors will look for any tissue tears, enlarged joints, and cartilage damage using magnetic imaging. Because the damage caused by arthritis is often hard to spot in its early stages, MRI scanning, which is very high definition, is considered more useful than X-ray or ultrasound imaging.