Somerset Mri Centre Ltd, Bridgwater
MRI images of the abdomen: The liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys and adrenal glands are just some of the major abdominal structures that can be seen on MRI. Patients suffering from jaundice, pancreatitis or tumours in the abdomen may be referred for an MRI. If you're having an abdominal scan, you'll normally be expected to lie fairly flat and may need to hold your breath for short periods. Breast MRI is a non-invasive procedure used to determine what the inside of the breast looks like without having to do a conventional mammogram (which uses X-rays).
Each exam produces many images of the breast, cross-sectional in all three directions (side-to-side, top-to-bottom, front-to-back). No ionizing radiation (X-ray) is needed, and the technique is believed to have no side effects. Breast MRI is an evolving technology and doesn't completely replace standard screening and diagnostic procedures.
Pathologies of the breast are often more conspicuous following a contrast agent injection.
MR Angiography (MRA) is a method of looking at the arteries and veins within the body. Some scans are able to show flow in the vessels without using any contrast agent injections. For these procedures you'll simply be asked to lie very still for the duration of the scan. For scans of the aorta and arteries supplying the lungs, kidneys, other organs and limbs a small injection is usually given. There are lots of advantages to using MRI for this procedure in comparison to older methods such as digital subtraction angiography. First, it's a very quick procedure, in fact some scans take under a minute.
And second, the injection only involves the use of a small needle into a vein in the arm making it a very patient-friendly and comfortable procedure. MRI images of the pelvis: The structures in the pelvis such as prostate, uterus and cervix, bladder and rectum can be demonstrated well by MRI. Because the scanner can take cross sectional images in any plane it allows a much clearer delineation of the anatomy in this area. Typically, if you're having a pelvis MRI scan, you'll need to be able to lie as flat as possible. MRI images of the spine: MRI is the investigative tool of choice for imaging the spine, not just in showing the vertebrae (the bones that form the spine) but also the soft tissue components of the spinal region.
This makes MRI more useful than conventional X-ray techniques in spine imaging and has the additional advantage of being free from ionising radiation. It's excellent at visualising degenerative changes, such as those seen in arthritis where the condition can narrow the bony spaces through which the spinal nerves pass, causing pain. MRI can also show disease of the lumbar discs between the vertebrae which may dehydrate and bulge (slipped disc) impinging upon the spinal cord and causing pain such as sciatica.
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