The MRI machine is a completely enclosed space

- No. There is a hole in the machine through which a person enters. During the procedure, this opening is not covered in any way. Therefore, it cannot be called closed or enclosed.

Also, an MRI examiner constantly observes the patient from the adjacent room through the viewing window. The patient has a signal bulb that can be pressed if he or she feels any discomfort. If there is an emergency, the examination will be stopped.

The magnet is always on, even when no one is inside the machine. This is necessary in order for the magnet to be superconductive. Therefore, no metal objects or electronic equipment should go behind the limiting line.

2. MRI is not good for your health.

- All methods are learned by comparison. If we take into account radiation diagnostics, which include ultrasound, X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, CT scans and X-rays have ionizing radiation, which can have a negative effect on the body.

MRI uses a high magnetic field. Compared to other types of radiation, it is considered relatively harmless. However, none of the methods are now considered 100% safe. 

For example, weather-prone people may tolerate MRI scans worse than others. 


3. The presence of any metal implants is a contraindication for an MRI.

- No, not any. There are plenty of amagnetics - metals that do not respond to magnetic radiation. And modern, say, dental or joint prostheses are not a hindrance or contraindication to an MRI.

The only contraindication here is if that metal is in the area of interest. Then the picture can be blurry because there is a lot of interference. There will be no harm to the person, but diagnosis in this case is difficult, and you should prefer another method. 

What about the owner of old-style implants, which may have iron in them? The first thing to do is to inform your doctor. Most likely he will not consider it a contraindication, because the amount of ferromagnetics in the alloys of even old dental implants is very small.

4. You cannot have an MRI scan with a pacemaker.

- The presence of radio-dependent implants that have electricity in them is a contraindication for an MRI. This also includes pacemakers. The magnetic field affects the electrical circuits, and malfunctions can occur with such implants.

Whether an MRI can be done with a previous-generation pacemaker is up to the attending cardiologist. Some diagnostic clinics perform the examination, but on the condition of providing a passport for the device and in the presence of a doctor, with subsequent observation of the patient and a control examination after 2-3 weeks. When prescribing a diagnostic procedure, a specialist must take into account the existing risks and the anticipated benefit to the patient.

Often people with cardiac pacemakers have MRI scans performed on open-type machines using accelerated data processing programs to minimize the time a person spends in the magnetic field.
The presence of other implants, such as metal or plastic implants, is a relative contraindication. In such a case, it is up to the physician to decide whether or not a particular examination is necessary.

  • In order to guarantee patient safety, the staff of medical centers strictly adhere to the list of contraindications for MRI.
  • The presence of any metal objects in the body must be notified to the medical staff at the stage of making an appointment.
  • In order to undergo an examination, the patient must provide a passport for the device, which indicates its compatibility with the MRI.


5. Claustrophobia is a strict contraindication to undergoing an MRI

- No. First of all, a person can psychologically set himself or herself up to undergo an examination, and then everything will go well. The tunnel of the scanner is not closed tightly; it is open on both sides. To calm down, you can close your eyes and breathe calmly and evenly.

Second, if you are still not able to calm down, you can take sedatives (as recommended by your doctor).

Third, the staff at the medical center can also help the person calm down. The patient should know that the medical equipment operator is watching him or her throughout the examination. And if the person presses on a special duty blower, the examination process will immediately stop, and the medical staff will provide the necessary assistance and support. Also, a relative or a close person can be with the patient.

All these activities reduce the psychological stress of the patient.

6. A CT scan shows the bones better and an MRI shows the soft tissues better

- Yes, that's true. In the case of a CT scan, we are talking about X-rays, which give an idea of the physical state of the substance. With MRI we are talking about a constant pulsing magnetic field, and radiofrequency radiation, which gives information about the distribution of protons (hydrogen atoms), that is, about the chemical structure of tissue.

In the case of CT scans, the doctor not only sees tissue, but can also study its X-ray density, which changes with disease. In the case of an MRI in Orlando, the doctor evaluates images only visually. 
These machines and examinations do not exclude, but complement each other. X-rays and ultrasound can also be added here. Each of the methods is good in a certain situation, and which one to choose - the doctor decides in each case.

If you need to check the brain, MRI is most often prescribed. But if a patient arrives in an ambulance with a head injury and speed of examination is important, then a CT scan is performed.


Author's Bio: 

Author's Bio:
Author Roger Walker is a Board-Eligible Orthopedic surgeon. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) College of Engineering. He was a member of the Varsity FAU baseball team and was selected in the Major League baseball draft. While practicing as a professional engineer, he obtained a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from FAU. He then pursued his medical degree at Nova Southeastern University. His orthopedic surgery training was performed at the level one trauma center, Broward Health Medical Center, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He continued his training at Orlando Health Medical Center, completing a fellowship in Orthopedic Surgery Sports Medicine.