Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produces detailed images of the body using magnetic fields and radio waves. MRIs are used for the early detection of a variety of conditions. An MRI can identify the location and size of abnormalities and provide information on whether or not an abnormality has spread. MRI does not use radiation, which makes the exam extremely safe.
Areas of the body well suited for examination by MRI include:
- Brain and its blood vessels and coverings
- Cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine
- Spinal cord and associated discs
- Heart, aorta and its branches
- Liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas and other abdominal organs
- Pelvis and hips
- The female reproductive system
- Musculoskeletal system (joints such as the shoulder, knee and wrist)
Greensboro Imaging conducts both open and closed MRI exams. An open MRI provides a more comfortable option for patients who may be claustrophobic, elderly or overweight. Greensboro Imaging’s MRI team interprets more than 6,000 examinations per year and routinely provides regular examination slots for scheduled sedation cases, with additional sedation services available as needed.
Patients scheduled for an MRI procedure can find additional resources about the exam, including other photos and videos.
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In most cases, no special preparation is required prior to an MRI exam. You can carry on with your normal routine, eat and drink your usual diet and take any prescription medicine you need.
The exam usually takes 30 to 60 minutes and consists of several short scans that last from two to eight minutes each. You’ll be asked to remove your makeup, eyeglasses, watch, jewelry, credit cards, dentures, hearing aids and any other metallic objects.
There are some special circumstances that limit the use of a magnetic field. The technologist will go over these conditions with you before your scan is performed. Also, be sure to tell the technologist if you are or could be pregnant.
Typically, an MRI exam does not require injections. In some situations, however, a contrast agent may be needed to enhance the ability of the MRI to see into your body. These are given through a small needle in the arm or hand. All contrast agents are FDA-approved and are considered safe.