Definition of magnetic resonance imaging

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) is a technique which uses an electromagnetic field to create detailed images of anatomical structures within the human body. Using the MRI, images are obtained which enable an advanced diagnosis, to a precise scale of a few millimetres, of a number of medical issues such as tumours, developmental pathologies, strokes, spinal injuries, diseases of the joints and dementia.
This examination is especially useful for detecting pathologies in the tissues, especially those covered by the bones, and therefore this method of diagnostics is most commonly used in the diagnostics of the head and brain. Magnetic resonance imaging is applied when it is necessary to expand the diagnostics and when the computed tomography results are equivocal or doubtful.  Indications for the MRI, instead of or besides the CT scan, are related to the type of disease, the age of the patient, and diagnostic problems.

Magnetic resonance imaging is ordered by:

  • Neurologists in diagnostics of the brain, spinal cord and cerebrospinal meninges in vascular (stroke), metabolic, neoplastic and inflammatory diseases.
  • Neurosurgeons to find the location of a neoplastic lesion within the head or spine, to plan surgical treatment, to differentiate a post-surgical scar from a recurrence of neoplasm, to find the epileptogenic focus, to find vascular malformations before surgical treatment as well as to specify the causes of sciatica or other radicular syndromes prior to the surgical treatment.
  • Cardiologists  to check the functions and capacity of the heart
  • Internists, surgeons, paediatricians, urologists and gynaecologists to diagnose the diseases of the liver and bile ducts, diseases of the pancreas, small and large intestines including the rectum, urinary system diseases, diseases of the prostate, in diagnostics of the perianal fistulas, and to assess the foetus and pregnant uterus.
  • Orthopaedists to conduct a detailed assessment of the condition of cartilages, ligaments and tendons of the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, wrist and others. In justified cases, an orthopaedist may refer the patient for an MRI of the joint with intra-articular administration of a contrast medium.
  • Oncologists to check how advanced the neoplastic process is, and to assess the outcomes of the applied treatment.
  • Laryngologists to assess the condition of the middle and inner ear, in diagnostics of the tinnitus, dizziness, deafness, cancer of the larynx, benign and malignant tumours in the neck, sinuses and salivary glands.
  • Ophthalmologists to diagnose diseases of the eyeballs, eye sockets and optic pathways
  • Endocrinologists to diagnose diseases of the pituitary gland, adrenals and thyroid.