Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the gold standard imaging modality for soft tissues. It produces detail cross-sectional images of soft tissue and bone anatomy, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, brain and organs, without the use of ionizing radiation. In addition to orthopedic imaging, MRI is also used for heart, brain and breast. MRI uses gadolinium contrast in many exams to highlight tissues and blood vessels, which enhances images and offers better diagnostic quality. It can also be used in conjunction with PET scans. How does MRI work? MR creates images by using powerful magnets to polarize hydrogen atoms in water (the body is made of of more than 80% water) so they face in one direction. A radiofrequency pulse is then used to ping these atoms, causing them to wobble, or resonate. The MRI coils detect this and computers can assemble images from the signals. Basic MRI scans will focus on the resonance of fat and water in two different sequences, which highlight and contrast different features in the anatomy.

Around the web

Radiologists need better access to patient data stored in the electronic medical record, imaging IT expert Rik Primo explains. 

Imaging IT expert Rik Primo discusses emerging issues he saw at RSNA and HIMSS.

Many new imaging solutions were on display at the world's largest health informatics conference, held at McCormick Place in Chicago.


Incomplete neurovascular imaging work-ups to blame for subsequent stroke in patients with TIA

Up to 37% of patients presenting with transient ischemic attack do not receive a full neurovascular imaging work-up, according to new data published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. 

June 1, 2023

AI tool helps identify 'invisible' head injuries on MRIs of college athletes

The tool uses a machine learning technique to identify changes on brain MRIs that would otherwise be overlooked by radiologists due to the subtlety of alterations. 

June 1, 2023
osteomyelitis on MRI

Diagnosing osteomyelitis with abbreviated noncontrast MRI protocols

Using abbreviated MRI protocols for pediatric exams offers similar quality as standard protocols but decreases the need for sedation. 

May 24, 2023
MRI safety zone warning sign at entrance into an MRI imaging room at Northwestern Central DuPage Hospital.

FDA report details MRI accident caused by sex toy

An FDA adverse event report suggests that although the patient involved in the accident was screened for metal prior to undergoing her MRI, she did not disclose the presence of a “butt plug." 

May 18, 2023
The new MRI contrast agent gadopiclenol, sold under the trade names Elucirem and Vueway by Bracco and Guerbet, uses 50% less gadolinium than current MRI agents.

New contrast agent earns positive safety classification from ACR

The ACR Committee on Drugs and Contrast Media stated that exposure to the gadolinium-based contrast agent represents a “sufficiently low or possibly nonexistent” risk to patients.

May 10, 2023

Prenatal MRI shines light on the implications of maternal stress during pregnancy

These findings warrant serious consideration by physicians caring for pregnant women in the future, as the link between poor mental health and placental development remains “underappreciated.”

May 10, 2023
Learning app improves reader performance for prostate MRI

Interactive teaching app improves reader performance on prostate MRI

Experts involved in the app’s creation suggested that because it was designed to mimic real life, its use among emerging radiologists could potentially help address the issue of subjectivity and reader variability in interpreting mpMRI scans of the prostate.

May 2, 2023

Radioactive substances unnecessary in new method for measuring brain glucose metabolism

Rather than administering radiolabeled glucose for exams, imagers give patients a small amount of a harmless glucose solution that is said to be equivalent to a can of a carbonated drink.

April 28, 2023
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