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What to Expect With an MRI

What to Expect With an MRI
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An MRI is a safe and non-invasive procedure, and it is one of the most common radiological tests we perform at Vision XRAY. Unlike traditional x-ray or CT scan (other common procedures) the MRI does not use any ionising radiation. If you’ll be needing an MRI with us, this post may help you better understand what to expect at your appointment.

What is MRI?

MRI is an acronym for magnetic resonance imaging, and it is a technology which uses a combination of strong magnets and radio waves to produce internal images of the body. The MRI machine is a large, hollow magnet. During the scan, the patient lies on a bed which moves horizontally into the opening of the magnet. The body region being studied is generally placed in the middle of the machine. Using the interactions of coils, magnets, and radio waves, MRI generates extremely detailed and accurate 3D images of the body.

MRI is highly useful in a number of diagnoses and treatments. It is often used to scan sporting injuries, brain and spinal cord, heart, blood vessels, and internal organs of the abdomen, pelvis, and chest. Your physician, in conjunction with your radiologist, can advise on the best and most effective scan for your particular health concern.

What is an MRI Appointment Like?

An MRI does not typically require excessive preparation. Usually, you are permitted to eat and drink as usual during the days prior to your appointment. You may be instructed to avoid food or beverage for a short time period (such as 30 minutes) leading up to your scan. Upon arrival, you will need to remove any items which might interfere with the magnetic imaging, such as jewellery and other metallic items. It can often be easier to simply leave these items at home. You will change into a gown and it will be time for the scan.

Usually, the scan lasts for half an hour to an hour, depending upon the area of the body under study. Whilst in the machine, you will need to lie still during the scan and may occasionally be asked to hold your breath for several seconds. You will be able to communicate with the radiographer through headphones, which can help you feel more comfortable and at ease. The MRI machine can sometimes create loud knocking sounds.

Sometimes, a contrast dye is required for an MRI to better illuminate internal organs and bring details into sharp focus on imaging. This is usually administered via an injection. Prior to your appointment, we will discuss if this will be necessary for your test and the decision is always up to you.

A Radiologist You Can Feel Good About

MRIs and other scans can make some patients nervous. To help lessen your nerves, we want you to know the Vision XRAY team is here to answer any questions you may have or to provide you with any additional information that will assist you. We aim to be the NSW radiology centre that you know and trust, and with our commitment to excellence and patient care, we’re confident you’ll feel good about choosing Vision XRAY.


Which is More Effective: MRI or CT?

Which is More Effective: MRI or CT?
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In the world of radiology, both the CT scan and the MRI are very common procedures that assist physicians in diagnosis and treatment. Both are highly effective, with technology only continuing to advance and improve with time. The differences between the operation of the MRI and CT are fairly significant, but both produce detailed images that give a closer look at concerns within the body.

Whether your medical practitioner recommends an MRI or a CT scan, they will do so based on what will provide the best results and be most appropriate (and safe) for your particular health needs.

A Closer Examination of the CT Scan

A CT scan, short for computerised tomography, belongs to the x-ray family. The basic x-ray uses ionising radiation to generate images of the body’s interior. Going a step further, the CT scan is an x-ray machine that rotates, creating cross-section scans of the body. When these scans are combined together, a 3D image is developed that can give valuable insight and information to physicians and radiologists.

The CT scan uses a higher level of ionising radiation than the general x-ray. However, at quality practices like Vision XRAY, low-dose radiation technology has been implemented successfully, minimising exposure and risk to patients. CT scans are a painless procedure, lasting less than half an hour to complete. Alongside the scan itself, CT may occasionally require the administration of a contrast dye, a pharmaceutical liquid that helps highlight certain regions of the body during the procedure.

A Closer Look at the MRI

The biggest difference between the CT and MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is the lack of ionising radiation used. The MRI scan employs an electric current which sends radio waves through coils to produce high-quality pictures of the body. The signals generated by the radio waves create, like the CT scan, cross-section images that offer a 3-dimensional vision. Compared to the CT scan, an MRI appointment lasts longer, as the technology produces images more slowly.

So, Which is More Effective?

It is fair to say that the scan which is most effective is that which will provide the best possible images for a patient while also protecting their health to the highest degree. Whether that option is MRI or CT scan is the decision of the medical doctor and radiologist. Both scans have their value and are tremendous resources, but the CT and MRI have different strengths and applications.

MRIs are usually the best choice for scans involving the ligaments, tendons, and spinal cord, as MRI images typically offer more density and intricacy. This is especially useful when examining soft tissue for abnormalities, or diagnosing problems in these complex areas.

CT scans are good for zeroing in on a specific region of the body. They are used frequently for injuries or complaints involving the head, chest, abdomen and pelvis, particularly when fractures or bone involvement is suspected. CT scans are the procedure of choice for examining internal organs or seeking out tumours, blood clots, abscesses, or masses. CT scans are often used during surgical procedures, such as a tissue biopsy, as they assist with delicate internal navigation.

A Sydney Radiologist You Can Trust

At Vision XRAY, you can feel secure in the knowledge that our team is dedicated first and foremost to your health, safety, and comfort. In every situation, we aim to select the procedure which will produce the very best results at minimal risk. If you have any questions regarding MRI, CT, or any of our offerings here at Vision XRAY, do not hesitate to get in touch.


Diagnosing Headaches Through Radiology

Diagnosing Headaches Through Radiology
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Radiology is perhaps most closely aligned with the general x-ray and when many people think of radiological services they probably think of broken bones. But radiology is about much more than bones, helping to diagnose a variety of much deeper health issues. The need for an x-ray is clear when it comes to a possible sprain or fracture, but the need may not be as apparent when it comes to other concerns. One of these such concerns may be headaches. Radiological scans can be an excellent and effective tool when it comes to finding out the underlying cause of severe or ongoing headaches.

First Things First

If you’ve been experiencing a headache, you’ll first head to your primary physician. Your doctor will examine you and ask you a number of questions to determine the cause of your headache, the associated symptoms, and any other influencing factors. Most headaches can be diagnosed right there in the doctor’s office. Common diagnoses include tension, migraines, or cluster headaches. Most headaches do not require any further testing, and are not a significant health concern. The doctor will ask you when your headaches began and how frequently they occur. He or she will also ask you about your level of pain. Lastly, the doctor may inquire about your lifestyle habits and any recent changes to those habits. With an analysis of your symptoms alongside your medical history, most headaches can be diagnosed easily and treatment suggestions offered directly by your physician.

Using Radiology for Headaches

Sometimes symptoms go beyond the typical patterns however, and testing is needed to determine the cause of your headaches. At Vision XRAY, we use MRI and CT scan as tools in these diagnoses, both capable of generating detailed images of the head.

The CT (computerised tomography) scan uses x-ray technology to create cross-section images of the body’s interior. A CT can show high-quality scans and is often used to check for any bleeding in the brain. This option might be chosen if a physician suspects a serious problem such as a brain tumor, aneurysm, or stroke. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) creates images through magnetised radio waves. The MRI can often provide a greater detail to images, making it an optimal tool for detecting certain conditions. It also is able to show certain regions of the brain more closely such as the space near the spinal column. Brain MRI may be selected to assess developmental abnormalities, blood vessel issues, eye and inner ear conditions, and chronic nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Both scans are effective and produce superb imagery, making them incredibly useful in the process of diagnosis.
It is important to remember that a brain scan such as an MRI or CT scan is not necessarily an indicator of a serious problem, but a precaution taken to ensure your health.

If you are concerned about your headaches, we recommend making an appointment with your primary care physician. We at Vision XRAY are also happy to speak with you at any time regarding our services.


Is MRI Safe During Pregnancy?

Is MRI Safe During Pregnancy?
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During pregnancy, nothing is more important to a mother than the health of her baby. A healthy pregnancy also depends on a healthy mother. If there is a concern about your own health or that of your unborn child, there may be a need for radiological scans to help in diagnosis and treatment.

As you might know, although radiological scanning procedures are generally considered safe, scans that utilise x-ray technology do pose a slight risk, as these expose you to small amounts of radiation. At Vision XRAY, we adhere intensely to a stringent set of safety standards, minimising radiation dosage for our patients as much as possible. In the case of pregnancy, it is advised to avoid all scans that utilise radiation. A woman who is with child should therefore not undergo any x-ray or CT scans. But what if scans are needed?

Scans for Pregnancy

When assessing the health of a foetus, we use ultrasound technology, a completely safe, non-invasive method which provides detailed images of your baby. The pregnancy ultrasound is an excellent tool for checking on the baby’s health. Ultrasound can also be of benefit in scanning other areas of a patient’s body, if needed.

Occasionally, something is noticed on an ultrasound that may require a closer look at the foetus. Or perhaps the pregnant mother is experiencing a problem and an internal scan is needed. In such a case, the radiological tool of choice is the MRI.

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, a scan which utilises radio waves and a magnet to generate remarkably intricate images of a patient’s body. The MRI machinery uses wire coils to transmit radio waves and their resulting signals build a series of cross-section images, creating a multi-dimensional understanding of the bodily tissues. Because of the excellent images MRI produces, it is an extremely useful tool in diagnosis and treatment, both for problems in a pregnant mother or health concerns within the foetus. An MRI lasts a bit longer than a CT scan or x-ray, and may require the use of an orally-ingested contrast dye to assist with imaging.

Is MRI Safe for Pregnant Mothers?

Unlike x-rays or a CT scan, MRI does not use ionising radiation. This makes it an ultimately safer scan as it does not have the same inherent exposure risks. Numerous research studies have been done to assess the possible risks of MRI on pregnant women and their babies. No adverse side effects have conclusively shown to result from MRIs performed during pregnancy. MRI is considered to be a safe test for pregnant women. However, to reduce any possible risks, an MRI is typically not performed until after the first trimester of pregnancy.

The health and safety of our patients is our number one priority at Vision XRAY. We always try to reduce the number of tests and scans required on a pregnant mother whenever possible, administering MRI only when health concerns indicate that it is medically necessary or prudent to do so. If you have further questions or concerns regarding MRI or scans during pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to speak with you and provide more information on our services here at Vision XRAY.


Radiology Procedures: Determining Which Scan to Use

Radiology Procedures: Determining Which Scan to Use
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When it comes to medical diagnosis and treatment, physicians and other practitioners use a vast range of procedures, methods, and tools in their care. Radiology plays a major role in the medical arena, and its importance only continues to grow as technology and science contribute continuous new advancements to the field. Radiologists work with a variety of scans, but the most commonly used are CT scan, MRI, general x-ray, and ultrasound. Depending on the nature of the injury or illness, a radiologist may use a single type of scan or use several scans in combination. How does the radiologist determine which scan to use in patient diagnosis and treatment?

A Closer Look at Common Radiology Scans

The x-ray is the most broadly used type of scan, and most people have probably had at least one x-ray in their life; dentists use x-rays to assist them in the proper treatment of patients’ teeth, for example. The x-ray scan uses electromagnetic energy waves to create images of the bones and other interior structures.

A CT (computerised tomography) scan is a more advanced x-ray which rotates to provide cross-sections of internal images. Using a higher dose of radiation, the CT is able to produce a much more detailed scan, which becomes important when diagnosing or treating certain types of issues.

Ultrasound is well-known for its use in monitoring pregnancy and providing images of the growing foetus inside the mother. Ultrasound technology does not use ionising radiation like the x-ray or CT scan, but uses sound waves to build images of the patient’s body.

Like the ultrasound, MRI, or Magnetic resonance imaging, does not utilise ionising radiation in its scans. Rather, MRIs work with magnets and radio waves to capture their internal images. An MRI is a scan which takes longer to complete, but the pictures it can produce are highly detailed.

Practical Applications of Radiology Scans

X-rays are very common, particularly for more “visible” ailments such as injuries. For broken bones or an overview of an internal organs, x-rays might be the best choice. Fast and effective, an x-ray produces an adequate scan with a reasonable dose of radiation. X-rays are generally considered the right scan for imaging bones, which explains their extensive use in dentistry.

A mammogram is specialised type of x-ray, used to scan women’s breasts for early indications of breast cancer. It is typically recommended for older women or those with a family history of breast cancer to be scanned yearly. In terms of early diagnosis, mammography is highly effective. Using x-ray technology, it does expose the patient to radiation, so its use should be as limited as possible and used minimally in young women.

When common x-ray is not appropriate, the more advanced CT scan might be chosen. The majority of CT scans use a significantly higher dose of radiation than the x-ray, but CT produces an image with much greater detail, as it creates 3D cross-section pictures of the patient. To minimise radiation exposure, CT scans can be highly localised onto the area of the patient’s body under analysis. A radiologist might choose to use a CT scan in cases of testing for abnormalities such as tumours or blood clots. Physicians often elect to use CT scans during surgeries or other tests to assist with navigating during the procedure, for example with the delicate workings of endoscopic sinus surgery.

Ultrasound is the scan of choice for observing growing babies within the mother’s womb. Ultrasound technology has grown by leaps and bounds, and extremely detailed images can now be procured. This technology is useful to radiologists as it does not subject the patient to any form of potentially harmful radiation, which is particularly important for the expectant mother. Additionally, ultrasound can be used for other purposes, such as soft tissue scans of the pelvis, extremities, neck, and abdomen or for musculoskeletal ultrasound: scanning for abnormalities in joints, muscles, and tendons. The radiologist might choose such a scan if other scans would unnecessarily expose a vulnerable patient to radiation.

Unfortunately, ultrasound is sometimes not effective enough to complete a full diagnosis. When scanning for cancerous lumps, for instance, ultrasound may be performed first followed by the more detailed MRI or CT scan. In their work, careful radiologists try to opt for the scan which presents the least possible risk for patients, but in some cases, additional, more advanced technology is required to form an accurate diagnosis. As always, the advantages and the risks will be weighed and the most beneficial course of action chosen.

MRIs and CT scans are both tools which offer a high level of detail. In many cases, a radiologist will decide which to use between these two scans. While both are very effective, the area of the body under evaluation will often guide the radiologist in his or her decision. MRIs are a good choice for scans of the ligaments, tendons, or spinal cord, as MRI tends to produce images with better density. Conversely, a CT scan might be selected in the case of internal organ injury or when testing for blood clots, tumours, or other masses.

Choosing the Right Scan for the Job

Which scan to use depends upon many factors. The radiologist typically works closely with the patient’s physician, and together they determine which scan(s) will be most effective for their patient’s needs. In addition to selecting the scan which will provide the highest level of detail, radiologists must also consider what scans tend to produce the best images and results for the specific ailment in question. Other considerations include the patient’s age, level of health, and previous exposure to radiation. The radiologist will select the best tool for the job as well as the scan that will be safest for their patient. It’s important for the physician and radiologist to strike the proper balance between efficacy and protection. At Vision XRAY, our radiologists strive to minimise radiation whenever possible, and the health and safety of our patients is always our priority.


What is Teleradiology?

What is Teleradiology?
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You may have heard that Vision XRAY offers teleradiology services within our practice. Yet you may be left wondering: just what is teleradiology? Teleradiology is the sharing of radiological medical images such as x-rays, MRIs and CT scans via electronic technology. The purpose of this system is to allow patient information to be available remotely. This helps to achieve greater accuracy, efficiency, and speed when it comes to patient diagnosis and treatment. The ability to share imaging easily and quickly allows patients and radiologists access to other radiologists as well as specialists. It also facilitates simple communication between physician and radiologist. Working with our healthcare partners, we enable rapid image sharing with community medical centres, hospitals, and private health centres.

Teleradiology at Vision XRAY

At Vision XRAY we use the RRRA (Remote Radiology Reporting Australia) system of teleradiology. RRRA was the first teleradiology practice in Australia, founded in 2001 and expanding ever since. We have 8 certified teleradiologists at Vision, and they prepare and handle imagery from MRI, CT scans, ultrasound, cone beam CT, dental x-ray, and chiropractic x-ray, among others. In most cases, images are transmitted within a timeframe of 24 hours–faster during emergency or urgent circumstances.

Technologically speaking, the RRRA teleradiology system is very advanced. Information is shared via a secure PACS system using Wide Area Network (WAN) and broadband as well as wireless options. A VPN as well as other protective measures ensures security and confidentiality of transmitted data. The IT infrastructure is strong and expertly-managed; in the case of any outages or errors, the system is supported by multiple servers, data backups, and other fail-safe mechanisms to keep the program up and running. At Vision XRAY, our teleradiologists have dedicated workstations for sending and receiving imagery, equipped with state of the art technology.

Practical Applications and Benefits

Thirty or so years ago, technology necessitated that radiologists physically be present when their expertise was needed. Teleradiology has vastly altered the process for analysis and diagnostic of medical imaging; radiology remains at the forefront of ‘telemedicine’ or medical care provided remotely or across several locations. The use of teleradiology allows radiologists to communicate clearly and easily with hospitals, physicians, surgeons, and more. This has certainly changed radiology practices, allowing radiologists to work effectively in various locations and streamlining and improving the process for patients.

As a patient at Vision XRAY, we may use teleradiology as an effective tool in your diagnosis and treatment. Communication with doctors, hospitals, and radiologists is better facilitated through the use of this premier technology and you can feel confident that Vision XRAY is committed to continuing to use the best available technology and practices available.


An Inside Look at Nuclear Medicine

An Inside Look at Nuclear Medicine
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Nuclear medicine is one of many radiological services offered at Vision XRAY. Not a familiar concept to most, nuclear medicine is a very useful tool which assists in diagnosis on a more detailed level of scan. Today, we take an inside look at what nuclear medicine is and how it can help our patients.

On the Molecular Level

What is incredible about nuclear medicine, is it helps radiologists access a patient’s body on the molecular level. Within the realm of molecular imaging, nuclear medicine utilises radiopharmaceuticals (very tiny amounts of radioisotope) in diagnosis and treatment. Working with special scanning technology, these radiopharmaceuticals can be observed within the patient’s body and create the needed images, on a remarkable level. More common diagnostic tools, such as XRAY, CT scan, and MRI can produce advanced and high quality images of the physical structure of specific areas of the body. Yet nothing provides the detail that nuclear medicine can attain.

How Does the Process Work?

The procedures for nuclear medicine vary greatly. On a basic level, if you’re undergoing nuclear medicine, you will be administered a small quantity of radioisotope, typically through injection. During the procedure, a gamma camera will be placed around the key areas of your body being examined, producing the necessary images. Your radiologist will discuss the specifics of each procedure in greater detail if your situation requires nuclear medicine.

What Does Nuclear Medicine Do?

Nuclear medicine has many uses in the medical world. This type of scan can provide radiologists and physical with greater insight into your condition and your health. Nuclear medicine is effective in diagnosing a variety of illnesses and problems, including bone disorders, heart disease, and brain disorders, among others. In particular, nuclear medicine is important in identifying certain diseases in theur earliest stages. Assisting with a cancer diagnosis, nuclear medicine can determine the exact location of a tumor, sometimes even prior to the appearance of symptoms. It is one of the methods which can help with earliest possible detection. Often, nuclear medicine can be utilised as a form of treatment with cancer, kidney disorders, and brain diseases, as well as other illnesses.

Some Benefits

Unlike biopsy or similar invasive methods, nuclear medicine has the benefit of being a completely non-invasive procedure. It produces the same results, if not better in certain circumstances, and its ability for early detection of some diseases makes it an excellent tool for patients.

Is it Safe?

Many patients express concern over the potential risks involved with undergoing nuclear medicine. The procedures of nuclear medicine do involve some ionising radiation, similar to other scanning technology, such as general XRAY. As radiation exposure is cumulative there is always some inherent risk involved. However, the amount administered in nuclear medicine or an XRAY is neglible and is not dissimilar from amounts of radiation you are likely to be exposed to naturally. Vision XRAY is committed to your safety, and always uses the lowest possible doses of radiation in our procedures and treatments.


Investigating Joint Pain Through Radiology

Investigating Joint Pain Through Radiology
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Unfortunately, many patients will experience joint pain throughout their life. This can occur particularly as the body ages, sometimes caused by arthritis, but joint pain can also transpire as a result of strain, overuse, or injury. Radiology is one of the most effective diagnostic tools available for investigating joint pain. Through various mediums such as XRAY, Ultrasound, MRI, and CT scan, radiologists and physicians can closely examine the patient’s joints and surrounding structures, helping to determine the cause of the problem and find appropriate solutions.

Where Does Joint Pain Occur?

Joint pain may affect any joint within the body, but common areas of pain include the hips, shoulders, wrists, and knees. Joint pain may be caused by inflammation of tendons and ligaments, mal-alignment of joints, loss of cartilage, fractures, or related stresses and injuries.

Using XRAY

Patients with arthritis or knee issues will commonly be referred for an XRAY. Your orthopaedic physician may request specific XRAY images of various angles of the joint in question. For knee pain, an XRAY can often indicate whether there is a fracture or bone spur. Your physician may closely examine the images to check for joint alignment and joint space. For arthritic patients, shrinking joint space can indicate a loss of cartilage and help determine the severity of the arthritis.


Ultrasound uses reflection of sound waves to produce an image and does not use ionising radiation, making it a harmless test. It is a dynamic examination so you can see movement both normal and abnormal. Ultrasound examines soft tissues so images can show ligaments and tendons. As it can also observe blood flow, this scan is also useful in assessing inflammation, as there is typically an increase in blood flow to the affected area.

CT Scan

For examining joints, a CT scan is another important tool for diagnosis. While XRAY is helpful for observing bone structure and problems with
cartilage and joint alignment, CT scan provides more detailed images of internal structures such as tendons and ligaments. The CT scan allows the physician to note problems with these structures as well as the internal structure of bones. In the shoulder, for example, there are several tendons which can be prone to tearing or inflammation. A rotator cuff tendon is a commonly injured area of the shoulder.


As the shoulder is a multi-layered area, an MRI is a frequently used scan for this part of the body. MRI scans can show the soft tissue as well as the bone, so this test can be especially useful in observing swelling. The MRI allows the radiologist and physician to see further detail of the interior structures. Frequently, an arthrogram is utilised to investigate shoulder pain. An arthrogram involves an injection of a contrast dye, which helps internal areas show up much more clearly on our scans. The arthrogram can be used in conjunction with a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI.

Experiencing Pain?

There are many useful diagnostic tools and tests for determining the cause of joint pain throughout the body. Your radiologist, alongside your physician, will determine which scans are most appropriate for each patient. If you are experiencing any current joint pain, do not hesitate to contact your physician immediately. Injuries or other problems can be dealt with, and our radiology technology here at Vision XRAY is excellent for investigating these issues. Your doctor can refer you for a diagnostic scan, and together we’ll help determine the cause of your pain.


Exploring the Differences between a CT Scan and MRI

Exploring the Differences between a CT Scan and MRI
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Both a CT scan and an MRI are extremely effective tools in medical diagnostics and treatment. The two procedures utilise different technological methods to produce images of the body, and provide various applications for health practitioners.

A computerized tomography (CT) scan, is a rotating x-ray procedure which generates cross-sectional images of the body. Multiple cross-sectional images can be combined to create a 3-dimensional image of the patient. CT scans can be localised onto one region of the body to provide an accurate picture of that organ or area. For example, CT scans may focus on the thoracic region, the brain, the pelvic region, or on the extremities. The 3D imaging is extremely useful in detecting abnormalities such as tumours, blood clots, or abscesses. CT scans may also be used during surgical procedures, such as a tissue biopsy, as they can aid the doctor with delicate internal navigation.

For the patient, the CT scan is a painless procedure, generally lasting for less than half an hour. In certain instances, the scan may require a contrast dye, a pharmaceutical liquid that helps distinguish certain parts of the body during the CT. This dye can be ingested orally by the patient, or may be administered intravenously, depending on the specific needs of the scan.

Magnetic resonance imaging, more commonly known as MRI, utilises radio waves and magnets to create detailed images of the body. Unlike an X-ray or CT scan, it does not use ionising radiation. In an MRI, wire coils in the machine send and receive radio waves, produced by an electric current which is run through the coils. The signals create a series of cross-sectional images (similar to a CT scan). An MRI scan can often create more intricate images; it is especially useful for differentiating between normal and abnormal tissue in the patient.

An MRI usually lasts slightly longer than a CT scan. This procedure, too, is painless, but the machine is somewhat noisier during the scan. An MRI may require the use of a contrast dye as well.

While both the CT scan and the MRI are superb diagnostic tools, your doctor will determine which scan is better suited for your needs. Depending on the purpose of the exam and the region of the body being evaluated, one type of scan may be preferred over the other. For example, a CT scan may be chosen when studying injury to organs, broken bones, or when searching for tumours or blood clots. An MRI may be more appropriate if the doctor needs to see your spinal cord, ligaments, or tendons, as the MRI scan can better show the density of these structures.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about either of these procedures. We at Vision Xray Group strive to keep our patients comfortable, healthy, and well-informed.


A Brief Overview of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

A Brief Overview of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a revolutionary procedure used to scan patients for an accurate evaluation of ailments and injuries. Many doctors are now depending on MRI for their diagnosis, since it provides detailed images of the involved body parts through the use of a magnetic field and radio waves.

An MRI machine is a long tube with the inner circular area comprising of a large magnet. The patient lies down and then a technician extends a coil, which receives the magnetic resonance signal, to the area that needs to be imaged.

Distinction between MRI and X-ray or CT Scan

MRI is completely different from X-ray or CT scanning. For starters, there’s no fear of ionizing radiation with a MRI. Its technology also allows it to detect fractures so small that they do not show up in traditional X-rays. Using MRI scans; doctors can identify the cause of pain as well as the exact condition, location and severity of fractures. Injuries in the muscles, tendons, joints and soft tissues of ligaments are also spotted in this procedure. Doctors can look closely at the tissues in the various body organs and immediately be made aware of any irregularity, such as a tumour. By being able to correctly identify the source and cause of anomalies, the right treatment can be implemented as early as possible.

When Do You Need a MRI?

A MRI machine provides detailed images, which allow the doctor to better assess the different parts of the body. This is to determine whether certain diseases that cannot be evaluated properly and adequately – using other imaging methods such as x-ray, ultrasound or CAT scan – exist. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, it should be noted, does not use x-rays.

MRI is very useful when scanning the brain or spinal cord. Most neurosurgeons use this machine in scanning and defining the brain anatomy. MRI scans can show any swelling or bleeding in any regions of the brain.

MRI is useful in determining brain aneurysm, strokes, inflammation in the spine, multiple sclerosis or whether the brain suffers from lack of oxygen after a stroke. It is also used in evaluating any spinal cord trauma and development of any heart defects.

How does it Work?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging works by creating a strong magnetic field from the electric current passing through wire loops. During this time, other coils work by sending and receiving radio waves, which trigger the protons in the body to align and then absorb radio waves. The process stimulates spinning, causing energy to be released and emit signals picked up by the coil. The information is transmitted to a computer, which generates an image based on the signals it interpreted. All this produces a 3D image representing the area being studied.

The MRI procedure does not take up too much time, and after a scan, patients can take up their regular activities. It also does not require patients to take medication. It is very safe and has no reported side effects. However, since a magnetic field is involved, MRI scans are not recommended for patients with implants such as pins, rods, pacemakers etc. since it can move metal and have these objects dislocated. Metal components in the body can also affect the accuracy of the scanned images.

If you have any questions regarding a MRI procedure, please feel free to post a comment or give us a call as we are always happy to answer your questions.