We already know that MRI scans are a part of advanced medical science and are highly effective in detecting significant injuries and disorders. Doctors majorly rely on MRI scans to diagnose internal damage or injury. They can see images and tell you if an injury persists if you had faced an accident a year back and you are experiencing abnormal symptoms. MRI or magnetic resonance imaging helps doctors to get a clear picture of organs, tissues, and bones inside the body without even performing surgery. If a CT Scan or X-Ray fails to show the best results, an MRI is a must.
MRI is a non-invasive test which is suggested by physicians in case of any abnormal symptoms.
MRI is done with the help of reliable magnetic energy, computer technology, and radiofrequency. This results in exact pictures of organs, bones, and even the soft tissues. This test is more often suggested to get images of the spine and brain because no other analysis can provide such high-detailed copies. Mild tissue problems that require MRI Scan include sports and knee injuries. Such conditions are the results of disorder in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
How Does it Work?
The powerful magnets fixed inside the MRI scan machine creates a magnetic platform which results in an alignment of the hydrogen atoms in your body. The affected part of the body is then put into focus, and radioactive waves are then passed through this body part. This will, therefore, realign and disorganize the atomic setting that had taken place earlier on. As soon as the machine is turned off, the atoms get back to their previous alignment and radio signals are given out. These signals further transmit to radio receivers and antennae, and this is when the computer reads the waves and brings out images.
Our body is mostly made up of water, and the chemical composition of water is H2O, which means there is a presence of hydrogen. Such elements are present in different types of tissues and also realign differently. Some fabrics take more time, and some are faster than the rest. The signals sent out by the masses are different, and the advanced MRI scanner can detect the difference between a healthy and an ill tissue.
How is an MRI Scan Performed?
First, you will be instructed to change your clothes and get into a sterilized hospital gown. You will be made to lie down on a table which will then slide inside the MRI scanner. The scanner looks like a tube or tunnel, and the schedule you lie on is narrow. It depends on the part of the body, which is affected that your head may stay outside or inside the scanner. The table will be stiff, and nothing around will touch you. You may feel hot inside the scanner.
While you are inside the scanner, there is no need to panic as you will be able to talk to the staff there with the help of an intercom. If at any point in time you feel suffocated or sick, there will be an emergency button that you can press. Some fans will push air inside to make you feel better. Since MRI scans make very loud and disturbing noises, you can plug in your headphones and listen to some music. This will also help you relax and carry on during the scan.
CT Scan Vs. MRI
You have heard about CT-Scans along with MRI Scans for sure. CT-scan stands for computed tomography scans, and both of these serve the same purpose. The main difference between these two is that during MRI scans, radioactive waves are used to perform the procedure, and a CT-scan involves a more straightforward method which is of an X-Ray. Both of these procedures have low-risk levels, and the choice always depends on the severity o the situation.
MRIs, with the help of radio waves, helps in viewing pictures of the organs inside the body.
The main problems that require MRI scan are in the following parts of the body:
- Blood vessels
In an MRI, a continuous magnetic action along with radio frequencies jumps off the water molecules and fat in the body. This activity creates radio waves which are further transmitted to a machine that translates such signals into clear images of the body. You will have to lie down during the whole procedure.
In a CT-Scan, a large X-Ray machine is used to scan the body or the affected body part. These scans are also known as CAT Scans.
This scan is commonly chosen in cases of:
- Bone fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Suspected cancer
During a CT-Scan, you will be lying, but there will be the movement to capture cross-sectional images. CT-Scan is a more common recommendation as they are more widely available and are not as expensive as an MRI Scan. Although an MRI creates more detailed pictures, CT-Scans are more widely availed due to being economic mainly. CT-scans are also faster in creating portraits of the tissues, skeletal structure, and other organs. On the other hand, MRIs are more advanced, and doctors will recommend this if situations are more critical.
What are the Risks of MRI Vs.? CT-Scans?
CT-Scans, as well as MRIs, come with several risk factors. These risks mainly depend on the type of scanning and how expertly it is being performed.
The risks of CT-Scan include:
- Pregnancy problems including disorders in the unborn child
- Probably reaction due to dyes
- Minute usage of radiation
The chances of MRI include:
- Magnets used in this scan may cause adverse reactions to any metals in your body
- Hearing disorders due to the abnormally loud sound emitted by the scanning machine
- The heat felt during the scanning process when the body is slide inside the narrow tunnel-like MRI machine.
You should also consult a doctor before an MRI is performed if:
- You have artificial joint implants done on your body
- A pacemaker is set for a heart disorder
- An IUD
- Eye implantations that react to radioactivity
Most of the time, doctors and physicians recommend one out of these two types of scans depending on the symptoms that you have reported. The other factors that are kept in consideration will be the severity of the disease or injury and also which part of the body is affected. If a more detailed image of the soft tissues, organs, or ligament are required for the treatment procedure, you will be recommended an MRI.
Conditions such as herniated disks, tissue damage or cracks and bruises in a ligament require an MRI scanning. If a more general picture of the internal organs is needed or it is a case of a fracture, a CT-Scan will be recommended.
This is an overall picture of an MRI scan, and what you can expect during the procedure is being performed. Apart from that, you have also got an idea of CT-scans and the pros and cons that come along with it. The most crucial part is that whatever scan might be needed, you should not neglect even the smallest of injuries which could later pose as significant damage or disorders.