• What is an MRI?
  • What to expect in your MRI exam
  • Equipment Tour

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a diagnostic modality in which images are obtained by placing the patient in a very strong magnetic field that uses radio waves to generate images of the body. The radio waves are sent back from tissues in the body. Different tissues send back different responses; therefore, diseased or injured tissues send back different responses than healthy tissues. The images are processed by a computer in slices, like a loaf of bread, and sent to the radiologist for interpretation. Since there is not any danger of radiation exposure, additional images can be obtained without exposing the patient to an increased risk. MRI can produce images in each of the cardinal planes (coronal, sagittal and transverse). MRI can provide important diagnostic information about all parts of the body including the brain and neck, spine, thorax, musculoskeletal system, abdomen, pelvis and internal organs, as well as numerous pediatric applications. It is also used to evaluate tumors, stroke, infections and injuries associated with muscles and joints.

Magnetic Resonance Angography (MRA)

MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) is a non-invasive technique used to image vascular anatomy looking at blood vessels and blood flow. It utilizes MR technology to detect, diagnose, and aid in the treatment of heart disorders, stroke, and blood vessel diseases. It is viewed upon as a desirable screening method for those patients suspected of having vascular disease of the main arteries of the body, including the carotid arteries in the neck, the aorta in the chest and abdomen, and the vessels supplying blood to the arms and legs. It can help healthcare providers plan effective treatment. Some people may feel nervous or uncomfortable about having the scan, but the scan itself is painless. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for the MRA scan can help the scan go more smoothly because it allows the patient to relax.

Hi-Field MRI/MRA – 1.5 Tesla

  • Phased Array Coils for High Quality Imaging
  • Fast Imaging Package
  • Complete MR Angiography Capabilities
  • Virtual MRI – watch a favorite movie/DVD or listen to a favorite CD. Relax during the MRI with increased patient comfort and reduced claustrophobia
  • Adult sedation


Diffusion Studies

Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DW-MRI) provides a unique form of MR contrast that enables the diffusional motion of water molecules to be quantitatively measured. Using MRI, images can be produced in which diffusion of water molecules in the brain is the dominant source of contrast. Diffusion-weighted provides information about the size, shape, integrity, and orientation of brain structures. DW-MRI has been shown to be of great clinical utility in the assessment of patients with cerebral ischemia, multiple sclerosis (MS), children with sickle cell anemia, children with epilepsy, and acute strokes.

MR Spectroscopy

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy shows changes in brain chemistry that may occur in certain areas of the brain. These changes may help diagnose diseases that affect the brain.

MR Flow Analysis Studies

MR CSF Flow study is performed to examine the aqueductal flow and void of cerebrospinal fluid. MR CSF Flow study is performed to examine the aqueductal flow and void of cerebrospinal fluid showing the areas of narrowing within the ventricular system such as the aqueduct.
During the Exam
The technologist will review your paperwork to ensure that you are a candidate for a MRI exam. You may be asked to wear a gown during your exam. You will be positioned on a padded table which will slide into the scanner. You will be able to communicate with the technologist throughout the exam. During your exam you will hear a series of knocking sounds. These sounds are normal. To diminish the noise, you will be offered earplugs or music during your exam. You will need to relax and not move during your exam.
  • HI-FIELD MRI – This scanner is cylinder shaped with both ends open and has a high-powered magnet that is best for high detail. Ask your technologist about the availability of audio/visual equipment.
After the Exam
  • Sedation – Arrangements can be made to give you a sedative. An adult driver will need to accompany you to your appointment. Please see preparations for sedation.
  • Virtual MRI – You may be able to watch a movie, listen to your favorite CD, and relax during the MRI. This will increase comfort and reduce claustrophobia. Ask the scheduler to make note of this accommodation when scheduling the appointment.