Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI produces detailed images of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually any internal body structure, providing clear contrast between soft tissues. This makes it especially useful in imaging the brain; muscles, tendons and bones; heart and vascular system; and in diagnosing cancer and monitoring treatment. MRI images are obtained using a powerful magnetic field – no radiation is used. Signals created by the magnetic field are processed by a computer, providing very detailed images.
MRI is a very safe imaging procedure. However, the magnetic field generated by the MRI is quite powerful and can be a life-threatening risk to people with certain types of medical implants and those who have metal shards or fragments in their bodies. For this reason, it is extremely important that patients inform the MRI technologist of any implants, medical devices, or metal fragments, no matter how small. Devices that must be reported include, but are not limited to:
- Pacemakers or implanted defibrillator (ICD)
- Heart stents
- Cochlear (ear) implants
- Brain aneurysms clips
- Implanted drug infusion pumps or ports
- Implanted nerve stimulators
Preparation: Prior to the exam, eat normally and take your medications as usual, unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare provider. Bring all relevant prior exams or studies (CT, MRI, ultrasound, x-rays) with you on the day of your exam. If your exam will be performed under sedation, it will be necessary for you to have someone to drive you home.
Exam Process: You will complete an MRI Safety Screening prior to entering the MRI room. You will remove all metal, including watches, jewelry, piercings, etc. If your clothing has metal zippers, buttons, clasps, etc., you will be required to change into a hospital gown. Once in the MRI room, you will be positioned upon the exam table. Pillows or blocks may be used to ensure your comfort and the quality of the exam. You will be provided with hearing protection. If you are to have contrast or sedation, an IV will be started and the medications started. The technologist will leave the room and the table will travel into the MRI to the appropriate position. You will lie still while the MRI captures images. The table may move during the exam. The technologist will be able to see and speak with you during your exam. You may be asked to hold your breath or given other instructions during the exam. When the exam is complete, the technologist will let you know, the table will exit the scanner and the technologist will come into the room to assist you.
Exam Time: 30 to 60 minutes, depending on type of exam.
King’s Daughters provides MRI imaging at the main hospital, at the Center for Advanced Imaging in Ashland at King's Daughters Medical Center Ohio. A mobile MRI provides services throughout eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio.
3T MRI: Our most powerful magnet, the 3T is particularly well-suited for
- detecting aneurysms and vascular stenosis
- extremely detailed scans of the brain
- detecting multiple sclerosis plaques and tumors
- viewing nerve structures in neurological and spinal disorders
Open Bore MRI: accommodates patients who cannot tolerate small/confined spaces
Breast MRI: considered to be the greatest advance in the early detection of breast cancer since the invention of mammography, breast MRI excels in detecting small tumors in women with dense breast tissue, implants or scar tissue
Mobile MRI: our mobile unit provides a 1.5T magnet with digital images