MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic system using electromagnetic radio waves. An MRI displays images of the body in “slices” similar to that of a CT scan, but it reflects greater contrast between different types of body tissues. MRI is a non-invasive, x-ray free scanning technology that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to produce clear and detailed images of nearly all the organs in the body. MRI technology especially excels in showing soft tissue organ abnormalities occurring all throughout the body.
MRI can provide a peek inside a body to identify and locate abnormalities, producing images that can be critical in the process of detecting tumors, infection, cancer, musculoskeletal injury and male and female reproductive systems.
Magnetic resonance imaging of vascular structures (Vascular MR)is a non-invasive procedure which utilizes radio waves, contrast material and a magnetic field to produce images of blood vessels in the body. It does not use ionizing radiation, and can effectively detect and diagnose heart disorders, stroke and other blood vessel complications. This procedure can also be used in preparation for surgeries.
Computed Tomography (CT) scan, commonly known as a CAT scan, is an advanced system producing cross-sectional images of the body. It is a highly sensitive method to accurately view the internal anatomy and detect extremely small lesions. CT scan technology, commonly known as a CAT scan, uses a sophisticated imaging system similar to an x-ray. A machine scans the body and uses cross-section images to create a three-dimensional model. With modern technology, the thin images can be further manipulated with a computer to see the human body in revolutionary ways, helping doctors diagnose diseases more quickly and accurately. This procedure is a non-invasive diagnostic tool, requiring minimal radiation and can see things which traditional x-rays cannot.
X-ray imaging is perhaps the most commonly known form of diagnostic testing. Similar to visible light, x-rays use electromagnetic radiation, which contain wave-like forms of energy.
Painless and efficient, X-rays can be essential in the diagnostic process. Depending on tissue density, X-ray beams are absorbed in different amounts in different parts of the body. Dense materials show white areas on an X-ray, while air will show up black. Other tissues appear as gray. The combination of these colors and textures form an image of the inside of the body.
In some tests, your doctor may administer an iodine or barium contrast to highlight certain areas.
An arthrogram is a test using a fluoroscope, similar to a X-ray, used to help evaluate and diagnose joint conditions, unexplained joint pain and detecting disease within the ligaments, tendons and cartilage. A contrast material (such as a dye, water, air, or a combination of these) is injected into the shoulder, hip, wrist, ankle or knee to obtain a series of images of the joint.
Depending upon the arthrography ordered by your doctor, the procedure may use computed tomography (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or fluoroscopy – a form of real-time x-ray.