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MRI and its purposes

The full form of MRI is magnetic resonance imaging. By doing this test, the doctor can get to see the bones, tissues and other organs present inside a human body and by this the doctor can diagnose whether there is any injury or any kind of disease in those areas.

One needs to go for an MRI in Bangalore only when a regular X ray or a CT scan cannot get enough information about the condition of the patient and the doctor cannot understand the situation inside the body clearly. Doing an MRI also means the doctor can see whether the ongoing treatment on any patient is working on them or not.

What are the conditions that an MRI can diagnose?

Well, the main purpose of doing an MRI is to get the image of the body. When a doctor prescribes an MRI for the spinal cord and the brain of a human being then they may be trying to find out:

·         If there is any weakened or a bulging blood vessel present in the brain.

·         A brain tumour.
·         An injury in the brain.
·         Some spinal cord injuries.
·         Any problems with the eye and the inner ear.

·         Multiple sclerosis or the disease which damages the outer coating that protects the nerve cells.
·         Stroke.

There is also a special kind of MRI is done which is also known as the functional MRI or FMRI. This is mainly done to check the brain activity of an individual by measuring the blood flow in certain areas of the brain. This test can clearly show all the active areas present in the brain. This test is mainly prescribed by the doctors so that they can gauge the damage done by Alzheimer’s disease or a sudden brain injury on a brain. The doctors also check whether the patient needs any surgery for brain tumours or epilepsy by this test.

In case of an MRI for heart and blood vessels, the doctor tries to find out if:
·         There is any kind of swelling or blockage in the blood vessels.

·         Any heart valve problems.
·         Some damage as a result of a heart attack.
·         Problems with the main artery of the body called aorta.
·         Any kind of inflammation on the tissues that surround the heart.
·         Any kind of problems with the chambers or the structures of the heart walls.
·         If there is any kind of tumour in the heart chambers.

When a doctor is prescribing a patient for an MRI of the joints and bones they are mainly trying to find out:

·         If the patient is suffering from acute arthritis.
·         Having some bone infections.
·         There is any tumour in the bones and joints.
·         If there is any kind of damage in the joint like torn ligaments, cartilage or tendons.
·         Some spinal cord compression or herniated discs.
·         The fractures that do not appear clearly on X rays.

An MRI of the breast is done to find out:

·         To screen the breast cancer in women if they have a strong family history in this particular disease.
·         To check how large the tumour has become and how much it has spread in the woman’s body apart from the breasts.

·         To check that after having a surgery and proper chemotherapy whether the cancer has come back or not.

·         Also to check whether the implants have ruptured.

One can also suggest an MRI test in order to find out some problems in body organs like kidneys, liver, pancreas, ovaries (in women), prostrate (in men) and spleen.

When one is prescribed an MRI, they can always ask the doctor that why do they need one? They can also ask what are the risks and benefits of undergoing an MRI test to clear all their queries and do not have any doubt in mind before going for the test.

Before going for the test, one always need to tell the doctor if they already have any existing heat problems like liver or kidney disease or if they have undergone any recent surgery. They also need to make the doctor aware if they are pregnant and if they have allergies in any food or medicine or have asthma issues.

Always remember that no metal is allowed inside the MRI room and this is because the MRI room has magnetic field and the machine can easily attract metals. So, if one has any metal based devices in the body like body piercings, artificial heart valves, drug pumps, cochlear implants, dental works and fillings, insulin pumps, metal limbs or joints, metal fragments, pacemaker and ICD then they definitely need to ask the doctors about it. If one has tattoos on then, that should also be informed because many tattoo inks contain metals.

On the day of the test, one needs to remove the clothes and wear loose gown before entering the MRI room. The things that are not allowed in the MRI room are dentures, cell phones, coins, hearing aids, eyeglasses, keys, watches and underwire bras. So it is always a good idea to take someone along with you when you are going for an MRI test.

If one does not like an enclosed space then one can also go for an open MRI test only if the doctor allows it. A typical MRI machine though looks like a large tube, it has hole at both the ends. There is a magnet surrounding the tube. There is also a table where the patients lie and it slides in. Then the body is scanned there.

In case of an open MRI, it is open on all the sides and so one who has fear of tight spaces can have a proper test with this. There are many MRI centers in Bangalore where before the test is done, a contrast dye is injected in the patient’s arm which clearly helps the doctor to see the structures inside the human body.
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