What Patients Should Know About MR Imaging Of The Body

by | Feb 25, 2021 | MRI

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scans are not only for bones. Medical professionals can use MRIs to monitor treatments or diagnose conditions for the abdomen, chest, and pelvis. MRI of the body uses a powerful magnetic field to produce detailed pictures of the internal body. These tests do not use radiation or x-rays.


How Do Medical Professionals Use This Procedure?

Professionals use MR imaging of the body to evaluate organs in the abdomen and chest like the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal glands, biliary tract, bowel, and more. It can also check pelvic organs like the ovaries, prostate gland, uterus, and bladder. MRI of the body can also check lymph nodes and blood vessels. 

It is possible to see the development of various chronic conditions in an MRI scan. Doctors can detect chest, abdomen, or pelvic tumors, cirrhosis, abnormalities in the bile ducts and pancreas, and heart problems like congenital diseases through MRI scans. Scans can also detect Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, blood vessel malformations, and inflammations.


What Do MRI Equipment Look Like?

Traditional units have a large, cylindrical tube surrounded by a magnet. These are the largest MRI parts, and you will need to lie on a table that slides into the center. Some units called short-bore systems have magnets that do not surround the patient. This setup is more comfortable for larger patients or those with claustrophobia. There are also machines with a larger diameter bore, which can also be suitable for people with anxiety or overweight.


How Does MR Imaging Of The Body Work?

MRI does not use radiation. It uses radio waves to re-align hydrogen atoms in the body. This process causes the hydrogen atoms to emit different amounts of energy, and the scanner captures this information and converts it into an image. The MRI unit passes an electric current through wire coils, creating a magnetic field. The MRI parts send and receive the radio waves that machines detect. This current does not come close to the patient at all.

These signals go through a computer, which processes the images. The radiologist can study the organs from different angles. Through MR imaging, medical professionals can differentiate between diseased and normal tissue. The MRI provides more details than CT, x-ray, and ultrasound.


What Happens During An MRI Exam?

Medical facilities can do this exam on an outpatient basis. This procedure starts with the patient positioned on the moveable exam table. The technicians can use straps and bolsters to help the patient stay still. Generally, MRI exams include multiple sequences or runs which could last several minutes.

If the scan needs contrast material, the technologist will use an IV line intravenous catheter to inject it into the body. Then, the technologist will perform the scans from outside, on a computer hooked to the MRI parts inside the scanning room.

After the exam’s completion, you might need to wait for a while for the radiologist to check the images. They might need to perform more scans, so you cannot leave yet. After they are sure that they’ve captured everything, they will remove the IV line. This entire process will take approximately 30 to 50 minutes.



MR imaging of the body is a helpful tool in diagnosing and treating various chronic ailments. If it is your first time undergoing procedures like these, knowing a little more about it will help give you peace of mind.

Medical facilities that source MRI parts and servicing from Direct Med will surely get top-notch equipment and assistance. We provide a range of services that can accommodate machines from various brands. Contact us today for inquiries!

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