Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Overview:

For those trying to look inside the human body without surgery, magnetic resonance imaging is an indispensable tool.

About Magnetic Resonance Imaging: 

  • It is used to obtain images of soft tissues within the body. Soft tissue is any tissue that hasn’t become harder through calcification.
  • It is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure widely used to image the brain, the cardiovascular system, the spinal cord and joints, various muscles, the liver, arteries, etc.
    • Its use is particularly important in the observation and treatment of certain cancers, including prostate and rectal cancer, and to track neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s, dementia, epilepsy, and stroke.
  • The MRI technique’s use of strong magnetic fields, individuals with embedded metallic objects (like shrapnel) and metallic implants, including pacemakers, may not be able to undergo MRI scans.
  • Working

An MRI procedure reveals an image of a body part using the hydrogen atoms in that part.

It uses the body's natural magnetic properties to produce detailed images from any part of the body. For imaging purposes the hydrogen nucleus (a single proton) is used because of its abundance in water and fat.

The machine includes a superconducting magnet creating a stable magnetic field, aligning hydrogen atom spins. A radiofrequency pulse is emitted, exciting excess atoms.

When the pulse stops, these atoms emit energy, detected and converted into signals by a receiver. These signals are processed by a computer to generate detailed 2D or 3D images of the scanned body part.


Q1: What is Calcification?

It is a process in which calcium builds up in body tissue, causing the tissue to harden. This can be a normal or abnormal process.

Source: What is magnetic resonance imaging? | Explained