MRI has been a staple medical diagnostic procedure or imaging technique. It was discovered in 1971 by Paul Lauterbur. It is a non-invasive and non-destructive diagnostic tool used for imaging soft tissues in radiology as it forms pictures of an anatomy and physiological processes of the body. For example, it can be utilized to diagnose soft tissues within the brain and heart to discover tumors. The MRI has revolutionized the practice of chemistry and medicine as it is a fast, non-invasive, and non-destructive (ACSNHCL, 2011).
Advances in MRI technology
Recent advances in MRI technology with emphasis on how it impacts clinical operations include better image quality, faster exam times, and improved throughput. It also emphasizes on patient safety. It focuses on the risk of patient injury due to high local specific absorption rate (SAR) and large cumulative energy doses delivered during long exam. They ought to be observed for patient comfort issues to be examined. The figures below show an MRI machine.
Devices Used in MRI
The magnet is the most vital part of the MRI scanner. Currently, the magnets used in scanners are in the 0.5-tesla to 2.0-tesla or (5,000 to 20,000- gauss) range The magnet produces a very powerful uniform magnetic field to transmit radio frequency (RF). Consequently, the coils decode signals through a very powerful computer system.
Uses and Advantages of MRI
Missed cervical spine injuries have devastating consequences. Patients with skull base neoplasms also present vague otolaryngological complaints such as facial weakness and numbness coupled with headaches, hearing loss, and hoarseness. They ought to undergo a medical examination. MRI is a standard evaluation procedure that can be applied in imaging the soft tissues of the spine and cranial nerve or skull as it highlights the healthy and unhealthy tissues. MRI scans use magnetism, radio waves and the computer to produce images of body organs. Patients with heart pacemakers, metal chips, implants and clips however, should not undergo an MRI scan due to the adverse effects of the magnet as it attempts to align the protons of hydrogen atoms that should be exposed to a beam of radio waves (ACSNHCL, 2011).
MRI scans are important as they are used to attain extremely accurate diagnostic results crucial in detecting diseases affecting the body at large. An MRI is often undertaken after other medical procedures fail to detect or provide sufficient information to diagnose and treat a disease. For example, some patients can suffer from head traumas. They, however, ought to undergo an MRI scan to affirm they are not suffering from trauma as well as IQ bleeding and swelling of the brain as well. The MRI scan can also highlight other abnormalities including brain tumors and aneurysms. Thus, MRI is important as it defines the brain anatomy and evaluates the integrity of the spinal cord after a trauma. Consequently, it can be applied in evaluating the structure of the aorta and heart as it can detect tears and aneurysms in case of a trauma (ACSNHCL, 2011).
According to Watson (2015), MRI is utilized for diagnose by undertaking over 20,000 scans to diagnose and treat diseases. Although an MRI is expensive and time consuming, it is the safest technique to diagnose traumas and injuries mainly attributed to human errors and failed safety procedures. For example, a functional MRI ought to be applied by doctors attempting to understand how different parts of the brain are responding to passive activity or external stimuli in a resting state.
Safety Use of MRI
MRI accidents and injuries, however, can occur adversely affecting the medical professionals. As a result, they should investigate safety precautions including need for interpolation, extrapolation, and quantification to approximate risks involved during an MRI scan (Watson, 2015). It is evident that MRI procedures are important in diagnosing diseases affecting soft tissues of fragile body organs. The procedures, however, should be undertaken by observing the safety measures to ensure the correct diagnosis is acquired without harming the MRI professionals. Consequently, appropriate treatment procedures can be implemented addressing injuries and traumas of body organs.
American Chemical Society National Historic Chemical Landmarks (ACSNHCL). (2011). NMR and MRI: Applications in chemistry and medicine. New York, Stony Brook University.
Evia, A. (2006). An Overview of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Academic Resource Center.
Watson, R. (2015). Lessons learned from MRI safety events. Current Radiology Reports, 3(10), 37.