An MRI is a great diagnostic tool which shows the internals of the human body as a detailed and clear picture in a scan image. The MRI scans usually are painless and quick. The MRI scan stands different from other imaging techniques such as CT scan, PET scan etc. It is different because the MRI scan doesn't use any radiation for producing the scan images , instead it uses only magnets and radio waves for the scan image production.

Uses of MRI Scan?

MRI scans produce the images of internals of your body hence they can be used for a variety of purposes, they can be helpful in visualising what diseases or injury has happened to you, it can help the doctor evaluate  how well your treatment is going, it can even help the doctor the diagnose and judge the treatment plan to effectively and correctly help you get relieved of the disease or the injury. MRI scans are generally used in a variety of cases; a few are mentioned below.

An MRI scan of the brain and spinal column can help visualise and diagnose-

  • Damage to your blood vessels, such as if an aneurysm has happened (a bulging or weakening blood vessel in brain or spinal cord). 

  • Any injury to the brain and its parts such as cerebrum, cerebellum or medulla.

  • Any cancer of brain

  • Disease like multiple sclerosis

  • Injury to spinal column

  • Stroke

  • Any eye problem

  • Inner ear problems 

An MRI scan of the heart and its blood vessels can be used to look for-

  • Any blood vessel which is blocked, it can get blocked due to cholesterol deposition.

  • Any damage caused to the heart by a heart attack

  • Any heart disease

  • Inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the heart, known as pericarditis

  • Problems in the main artery of the heart, the aorta

  • Problems with the structure of the heart itself

An MRI scan of the bones and joints can be used to look for-

  • Arthritis

  • Any infection of the bones and joints

  • Any cancer including the tumours

  • The disk problems in the spine of the body

  • Pain in the neck or lower back with nerve signs

MRI scans can be used to keep a check on health of the internal organs, such as-

  • MRI scan for the breasts can help-

  • MRI can be used for the screening of breast  cancer in people having a high risk for developing breast  cancer 

  • To see how large the tumour has grown and how much it has spread into surrounding tissues who already have breast cancer

  • To evaluate the patients who are on chemotherapy for the evidence of if the cancer has come back

  • To see if the implant has misplaced or ruptured, in the women who have undergone breast implant surgery

  • MRIs liver also help diagnose various diseases and injuries to the liver

  • MRI scan for kidney

  • MRI for ovaries in women

  • MRi scan of pancreas

  • MRI scan for prostate in men

A special type of MRI known as functional MRI (fMRI) is used to map the brain activity-

fMRI- this test helps look into the blood flow to the brain which helps evaluating the areas of the brain. Certain areas of the brain are active while performing certain activities, fMRI scans are used to help evaluate and diagnose certain conditions on the basis of functional activity of the brain such as Alzheimer's, stroke, or any other brain injury. It also helps in mapping the brain which aids in treatment planning of certain conditions such as tumours.

What To Prepare Before MRI scan?

For an MRI Scan uses strong magnetics and magnetic fields for the production of scan images, it is highly possible that the magnets misplace or move the implanted medical metal device in your body, if you have one.The metal devices are usually not scanned by the MRI scanner. The magnetic field can impair the functioning of the metallic device.

Therefore, it is highly important that you should tell your radiologist or the health care provider about any metallic medical aid that you have inside your  body, there are certain things that your healthcare provider might need to know, some of them are mentioned below-

  • Cardiac defibrillator

  • Cardiac pacemaker

  • Ear implant (cochlear implant)

  • Any surgical clip which are usually used on brain aneurysm or others

  • If you have artificial heart valve

  • Implanted medicine infusion ports

  • If you have metallic rod in leg or arm which is usually placed after a severe fracture

  • Artificial limb or metallic joints

  • If you have implanted nerve stimulator

  • Pins, screws, plates, stents or surgical staples

Also you should tell your healthcare provider if you  have any metal fragments left inside your body after any accident or anything. You should also tell your provider when you have had your last MRI scan before.

There are certain things you should tell your care provider beforehand including-

  • Body piercings

  • Pregnancy

  • If you are breastfeeding your baby

  • Any dental fillings or dentures

  • Tattoos as some tattoos contain metallic ink

  • If you are claustrophobic (scared of closed spaces/fear of crowded place)

You need to remove certain things before going into the Scanning room-

  • Eye glass

  • Coins

  • Cellphones

  • Keys

  • Dentures 

  • Watch

  • Wigs

  • Hearing aids’

  • underwired bras

What Are The Risks Of MRI Scan?

  • An MRI Scan usually does not include any radiation, hence it does not pose any radiation related risk as such, also it is a painless and quick exam.

  • Certain MRI scan exams might include contrast dye injection which may cause an allergic reaction,mild and moderate allergic reactions either usually resolve themselves or they might need some medication. For a severe allergic reaction you need to be monitored and delivered proper care. Hence it becomes utmost important that if you  face any allergic reaction you should inform your doctor or the healthcare provider immediately. The allergic reactions usually start by redness, swelling, itching and pain.

  • If you are pregnant you should tell your doctor since MRI scan is not done while you are pregnant even though there are no evidence  of an MRI scan causing harm to the unborn child

  • mIf you have any kidney disease already, it might get worse and cause nephrogenic sclerosing fibrosis which is  a rare disease. Your doctor usually checks your status before the MRI scan.

  • There is a slight chance of the contrast dye to get deposited in your body especially into your brain, although the buildup has not been proved, the FDA has also not restricted the use of contrast dye. 


MRI has various uses and is recommended by the doctor in need. You might have many MRI diagnostic centres near you which may offer a cost friendly scan. It is always better to prevent the disease progression before it has spread to an extent where it is not treatable. Book your appointment now to get the insight of your body.

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