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Magnetic resonance, how does it work and what is it for?

The use of magnetic resonance imaging is an irreplaceable technique since it allows obtaining images of inside the body and characterizing injuries of all kinds, from congenital anomalies, tumors or neurodegenerative pathologies, to epileptic, infectious and metabolic processes.

A leading upright MRI specialist said that it is a minimally invasive test and does not generate adverse effects on the body and one should opt for MRI with a doctor’s recommendation if you are going through any injury.

“You can obtain high-quality images and see the changes in the body without using X-rays,”

How does MRI work?

This test uses a magnetic field and radiofrequency waves to obtain images of different areas of the body.

“The equipment’s magnetic field orients the hydrogen atoms in a certain direction which, when stimulated by radiofrequency waves (the noise that is heard during the exploration), emit a signal captured by an antenna that is transformed, by a computer, in images”.

Each type of tissue reacts differently to stimulation, therefore, by varying the magnetic field, it is possible to progressively dissect the different areas of the body and obtain images in the form of cuts in any direction and area of the body. With them, the radiologist issues a report and the doctor will make the diagnosis.

In some patients, always by decision of the specialist, it is necessary to carry out the injection of intravenous contrast (not iodinated and whose harmful effects are exceptional) or rectally during the examination.

In pediatric patients or certain adults, the study may be performed under sedation.

In what pathologies is it useful for its diagnosis?

Its precision makes magnetic resonance imaging a very useful test for the diagnostic study of the central nervous system, the abdomen, musculoskeletal injuries, and the breast.

Regarding the latter, ” the MRI is a relatively new technique in the diagnostic use of breast lesions”, added from the University Clinic of Navarra, and its main objective is to help determine the staging of breast cancer: “In malignant lesions, it allows obtain a situation of both breasts (to also detect satellite lesions), and with that information, the surgeon decides which technique to use”.

Mammography remains the only accepted technique for breast cancer screening in the female population (sometimes supplemented by ultrasound), but ” magnetic resonance imaging with paramagnetic contrast has strongly emerged as a very useful technique in certain cases. of breast pathology”, they add.

In brain pathology, magnetic resonance imaging is also essential. Not only is it capable of characterizing all types of brain lesions, such as congenital anomalies, tumors, neurodegenerative pathologies, epileptic, infectious and metabolic processes, but it is also used to study brain morphology and metabolic evaluation of the brain, that is, it allows explaining how some neurodegenerative processes develop, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, and other diseases of the brain.

What are the risks of MRI?

Magnetic resonance does not have radiation or generate side effects, but certain situations must be taken into account before performing a test with this technology:

  • If you are pregnant or could be pregnant, you must inform your doctor before the test.
  • Allergies or reactions to contrast. If you suffer from allergies or have had adverse reactions to contrasts in the past, you must notify them in advance.
  • In addition, if there is a contraindication, or they should notify the doctor before the test, patients who:
  • Have pacemakers, heart valves, cochlear implants, bone-bridge or other hearing implants.
  • Have a surgical history with metal staples or are undergoing acupuncture treatment.
  • Have other prostheses or metal implants implanted.


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Hi, my name’s Gina Long. I'm a successful businesswoman and love to stay healthy. I consider health and wealth to be an essential part of my makeup. In this blog, I talk about these things that are essential to me and hopefully my readers.

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