Video demo of what its like to have an MRI scan
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that provides pictures of organs and structures inside the body. It produces these images by using a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy. In many cases, MRI might provide information that cannot be obtained from an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan and often adds additional information.
For an MRI test, the area of the body being studied is positioned inside a strong magnetic field. The MRI can detect tumours, infection, and other types of tissue disease or damage. It can also help diagnose conditions that affect blood flow. Tissues and organs that contain water provide good contrast in MRI pictures. For these reasons, MRI is useful for detecting conditions that increase the amount of fluid in a tissue, such as inflammation, infection, tumours, and internal bleeding. Information from an MRI scan can be saved and stored on a computer for further study.
In some cases a contrast material may be used during the MRI scan to enhance the images of certain structures. The contrast material may help evaluate blood flow, detect some types of tumours, and locate areas of inflammation.
The test requires that the person lie very still. The noise of the machine may frighten some people. Patients 15 years old or older will be accepted, unless referred by a St. Joseph’s physician. Children younger than 15 years old will be referred to London Health Sciences Centre for their MRI.
An MRI may not be available in some hospitals.
Our MRI services include:
- comprehensive imaging of the head, neck and spine including 3D imaging techniques and angiography
- diffusion imaging
- rapid imaging techniques for uncooperative patients
- high resolution imaging of the head
- body imaging including 3D imaging of the breast, breath holding imaging of the abdomen, and high resolution cardiac imaging, and
- Spectroscopy including evaluation of specific myopathies