A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is a very common medical test because doctors can use it to detect and scan for numerous types of health issues. It uses radio waves, a strong magnetic field, and a computer to produce derailed images of the body’s structures and organs. The MRI devices and related techniques are always being improved, so doctors and researchers can use them in new and helpful ways. Here are some of the issues and problems for which MRI scans are useful.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are quite common in people who exercise or do other training. In many cases, an x-ray can be used to detect injuries and issues related to soft tissue, such as torn ligaments, but the damage or injury might be too subtle to see on an x-ray.
An MRI provides superior contrast resolution for both tissues and bones, which makes it a great tool for the detection of subtle soft tissues injuries. Some of these injuries include nerve compression, joint inflammation, cartilage loss, and many others.
An MRI can be used to diagnose soft tissue pain that is undetectable using other means and techniques, and whose origin is not obvious when using these other techniques.
The MRI remains the most important tool in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal injuries. An MRI becomes the ideal tool in these cases because a CT (computed Tomography) is not ideal for soft tissue structure examinations. An MRI test can illuminate the vertebrae, spinal cord, and related muscles to help pinpoint various spinal injury complications. These can include disc herniation, hemorrhage, pinched nerves, and other related issues. MRI scans have been used to put together surgical plans for complicated spinal injuries, with surgeons using MRI images to pinpoint where to cut and where to focus on during their surgeries.
An MRI can be used to detect certain types of cancers such as prostate, breast, and certain types of lung cancer. An MRI can help doctors differentiate between cancerous cells and non-cancerous cells, so they can start putting together a treatment plan. These tests can also be used to help doctors find out if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body if the cancer was not caught early.
Because of how useful MRI tests are at detecting cancer early, doctors recommend that you go for an annual full body MRI test. The full body MRI scan provided by Ezra is a great option because, in addition to screening for cancer, it also screens for other types of diseases. Apart from the full body MRI scan, Ezra also provides lung CT scans for the detection of lung cancer and other abnormalities in the chest.
Internal Organ Damage
An MRI is also an indispensable tool in the detection of internal organ damage. The MRI can examine various body organs including the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, and others to determine if there is damage. If there is damage, the MRI can be used to check the extent of the damage as well as complications that can make surgeries and repairs more complicated.
In this application, the MRI is used in case of an accident, and this can complicate the imaging process. An MRI requires that patients remain still, and injured patients can move around. Pain medication and sedatives can be used, but these can further complicate injuries. Other tools such as x-rays and CT scans might be recommended instead.
Issues with the Brain
MRI is also a great tool for the detection of problems in the brain. Here, it can be used to detect issues such as:
- Brain tumors – It can give a precise location so the tumor can be excised.
- Traumatic brain injuries – In this case, it can be used to show the extent of the damage, so doctors can start making plans for their patients.
- Aneurysms – Aneurysms are bulges in blood vessels that are caused by the weakening of blood vessel walls. Aneurysms can be serious and even fatal when they burst in important areas such as the brain. An MRI is used to check for aneurysms that have not yet burst. Aneurysms are screened in people who are at risk of one bursting in the future, but not for everyone because of how difficult it is to predict when they could burst.
- Infections – Usually seen through inflammation of tissues in the brain.
- Causes of persistent headaches.
An MRI can be used to detect blocked blood vessels, malformations in the arteries and veins, and carotid artery disease. All of these are serious conditions that can be fatal if left unchecked and undetected.
Going for regular MRI scans is crucial for anyone who values their health. An MRI can be used to detect issues such as cancer before they become untreatable. They can also be used to diagnose issues after the fact, such as persistent pain caused by a prior soft tissue injury.