Diagnostic Imaging - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Services at RIMA:
•    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)Magnetic Resonance (MR) – Angiography
•    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)Magnetic Resonance (MR) – Guided Breast Biopsy
•    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Body
•    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Breast
•    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Head
•    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Musculoskeletal
•    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Spine
•    Magnetic Resonance, Functional (fMRI) – Brain

Magnetic Resonance (MR) – Angiography
MR angiography is used to examine blood vessels in key areas of the body for a wide range of abnormalities including to:
•    identify disease and aneurysms in the aorta, both in the chest and abdomen, or in other major blood vessels
•    detect atherosclerosis disease in the carotid artery of the neck, which may limit blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke
•    identify a small aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation inside the brain
•    detect atherosclerotic disease that has narrowed the arteries to the legs and help prepare for endovascular intervention or surgery
•    indicate disease in the renal artery or visualize blood flow to help prepare for a kidney transplant
•    guide surgeons making repairs to diseased blood vessels, such as implanting or evaluating a stent
•    detect injury to one of more arteries in the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis or extremities in trauma patients
•    evaluate the details of arteries feeding a tumor prior to surgery or other procedures such as chemoembolization or selective internal radiation therapy
•    identify dissection or splitting in the aorta in the chest or abdomen or its major branches
•    show the extent and severity of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries
•    plan for a surgical operation, such as coronary bypass
•    sample blood from specific veins in the body to detect any endocrine disease
•    examine pulmonary arteries in the lungs to detect pulmonary embolism (blood clots from leg veins)
• screen individuals for arterial disease, especially patients with a family history of arterial disease or disorders

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Body
MR imaging of the body is performed to evaluate:
•    organs of the chest, abdomen and pelvis—including the heart, liver, biliary tract, kidney, spleen, and pancreas and adrenal glands.
•    pelvic organs including the reproductive organs in the male (prostate and testicles) and the female (uterus, cervix and ovaries).
•    pelvic and hip bones.
•    blood vessels (MR Angiography).
•    breasts.

Physicians use the MR examination to help diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as:
•    tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis.
•    coronary artery disease and heart problems including the aorta, coronary arteries and blood vessels, by examining the size and thickness of the chambers of the heart and the extent of damage caused by a heart attack or progressive heart disease. For more information, visit the MR Angiography and Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring pages.
•    tumors and other abnormalities of the reproductive organs (e.g., uterus, ovaries, testicles, prostate).
•    causes of pelvic pain in women, such as endometriosis.
•    functional and anatomical abnormalities of the heart.
•    diseases of the liver, such as cirrhosis, and that of other abdominal organs (when a complete diagnostic assessment can not be done with other techniques).
•    congenital arterial and venous vascular anomalies and diseases (e.g., atherosclerosis) of the chest, abdomen and pelvis (MR Angiography).
•    conditions involving the bile duct, gallbladder and pancreatic ducts (MRCP).
•    breast cancer and implants.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Breast
MRI of the breast is not a replacement for mammography or ultrasound imaging but rather a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.
Medical studies are currently being conducted to determine whether MRI and other imaging methods can contribute to the early detection and prevention of deaths from breast cancer.
MR imaging of the breast is performed to:
•    assess multiple tumor locations, especially prior to breast conservation surgery.
•    identify early breast cancer not detected through other means, especially in women with dense breast tissue and those at high risk for the disease.
•    evaluate abnormalities detected by mammography or ultrasound.
•    distinguish between scar tissue and recurrent tumors.
•    determine whether cancer detected by mammography, ultrasound, or after surgical biopsy has spread further in the breast or into the chest wall.
•    assess the effect of chemotherapy.
•    provide additional information on a diseased breast to make treatment decisions.
•    determine the integrity of breast implants.

Without contrast material, an MRI of the breast can show:
•    breast tissue density.
•    cysts.
•    enlarged ducts.
•    hematomas.
•    leaking or ruptured breast implants.
•    the presence of enlarged lymph nodes.

By comparing breast images taken before and after contrast material injection, an MRI exam can determine:
•    if there are breast abnormalities.
•    whether an abnormality looks benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
•    the size and location of any abnormality that looks malignant.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Head
MR imaging of the head is performed to help diagnose:
•    tumors of the brain.
•    developmental anomalies of the brain.
•    vascular anomalies of the head (aneurysm for example).
•    disorders of the eyes and the inner ear.
•    stroke.
•    trauma patients (in selected patients).
•    disease in the pituitary gland.
•    certain chronic disorders of the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis.
•    causes of headache.
•    document brain abnormalities in patients with dementia.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Musculoskeletal
MR imaging of the musculoskeletal system is usually the best choice for examining the:
•    body’s major joints.
•    spine for disk disease.
•    soft tissues of the extremities (muscles and bones).

MR imaging is typically performed to diagnose or evaluate:
•    degenerative joint disorders such as arthritis and meniscus tears (knee).
•    fractures (in selected patients).
•    joint abnormalities due to trauma (tendon tears for example).
•    spinal disk abnormalities (herniated disk for example).
•    the integrity of the spinal cord after trauma.
•    sports-related injuries and work-related disorders caused by repeated strain, vibration or forceful impact.
•    infections (osteomyelitis for example).
•    tumors (primary tumors and metastases for example) involving bones and joints.
•    pain, swelling or bleeding in the tissues in and around the joints and bones.
•    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Spine

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – Spine
MR imaging of the spine  is performed to:
•    assess the spinal anatomy.
•    visualize anatomical variations and diseased tissue in the spine.
•    help plan surgeries on the spine such as decompression of a pinched nerve or spinal fusion.
•    monitor changes in the spine after an operation, such as scarring or infection.
•    guide the injection of steroids to relieve spinal pain.
•    assess the disks – bulging, degenerated or herniated intervertebral disk—a frequent cause of severe lower back pain and sciatica.
•    evaluate compressed (or pinched) and inflamed nerves.
•    explore possible causes in patients with back pain (compression fracture for example).
•    image spinal infection or tumors that arise in, or have spread to, the spine.
•    assess children with daytime wetting and an inability to fully empty the bladder.