A medical imaging modality – which can visualise the insides of the human body in very high detail, MRI is particularly useful when imaging the body’s ‘soft tissues’. This makes it very useful in the detection of various cancers, abnormalities of the brain and heart, and musculoskeletal conditions.
MRI stands for ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging’, and the technique utilises magnetism to affect atoms in the body known as protons, which respond to magnetic fields. Organ / tissues are made up of varying water / fat content which produces different types of signal intensity on the images on the various pulse sequences employed by the MRI scanners. As MRI does not use radiation, it is believed to be one of the safest forms of diagnostic imaging, making it generally an extremely safe procedure. We do however have to carefully screen patients so that they can be imaged safely as there are known contra-indications to MRI such as pacemakers.
The Heart of England Foundation Trust has 4 MRI scanners within the Trust, each providing unique capabilities.
We also have a 1.5 T scanner which is able to view the vascular system without the need for contrast agents, making it very beneficial especially in patients with poor renal function. In addition we also have 2 other 1.5 T MRI systems providing good detailed imaging in the abdomen / Brain.
Information for Patients