MRI, short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a process that utilizes a computer, a magnet, and radio frequencies to create images of different parts of the body. It is typically done on organs to point out any issues or problems a patient may be facing that doctors need to see in detail. MRIs are not like X-rays, as they do not use any ionizing radiation. Also, equipment like X-rays only produces images of the skeleton, while MRI machines produce layers of pictures of the scanned area.
That being said, the most common places that an MRI is generally used is on the spine and the brain. To know why that is the case, we will first talk about how the MRI works and then explain why it is used on said areas of the body.
How the MRI works
The MRI machine itself looks like a long tube. It is designed this way so that the magnets can surround the patient in a magnetic field that alters the hydrogen atoms in the human body. This allows for the radio waves sent out to hit the nuclei in the atoms, causing them to move out of their potion and realign back. This action causes a radio wave to be emitted out of the body, captured by a computer, and used to develop a 2D image of the body.
This kind of ability to create detailed pictures of soft-tissue organs has made MRI the go-to solution versus other solutions such as CT (Computer Tomography) scans. Apart from that, there are many magnetic resonance solutions out there that are not only MRI. Procedures like MRA and MRS are both non-invasive procedures catered to assess different aspects of the body. MRAs scan the blood flow of the body, helping to discover problems such as aneurysms, vascular issues, and other problems related to the blood vessels. As for MRS, it is used to detect any chemical imbalances in the body, specifically in the tissues. It is used to identify problems like HIV infection, head injuries, coma, and other problems.
Why MRI Is Used for the Brain and Spine
MRI scans are commonly conducted for brain and spinal injuries because of their ability to detect issues that other solutions like a CT scan would otherwise be unable to capture. Problems can include tumors, aneurysms, degenerative disease, hemorrhage, and even herniation. The images produced by the MRIs provide a high level of detail that doctors need to quickly identify the source of the problem and understand precisely where it is. This allows them to plan out a procedure to address the issue, allowing the patient to recover and heal from such problems.
MRIs have played an integral role in many healthcare firms. With its ability to provide detailed 2D images of the body, doctors can make well-informed decisions on how to better care for their patients and provide the right treatments to increase the chances of recovery. That being said, if you do have an MRI machine, always make sure it enjoys frequent maintenance. That way, it can perform without a problem whenever it needs to run and limit any possible errors in the images it produces to guarantee the right treatment based on the data taken from the MRI scan.
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