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What is an MRI?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a type of scan that uses a strong magnetic field and radiowaves to create images of the body based on the hydrogen content of tissues. It can provide excellent information about the soft tissues in the whole body as well as the bones, joints and spine and is very useful for diagnosis. It does not use ionising radiation unlike radiographs and CT but is one of the longest imaging tests and can take around 15-30 minutes to complete. People with metallic implants, devices and prostheses may be contraindicated from having MRI as it uses a strong magnetic field. However, many modern metallic prostheses are now MRI compliant so it is worth checking with your doctor or the imaging department as you may be able to proceed with a scan even if you have one.
When would we use an MRI scan?
MRI scans are now used to assist making diagnoses with a large range of diagnoses throughout the whole body. Common uses are to assess the brain, heart, soft tissue organs and gastrointestinal tract and the joints and spine. Our state of the art MRI machines allow our clinicians to make the correct diagnoses quickly.
What makes our MRI beyond better?
At OneWelbeck we use a state-of-the-art MRI machines that uses the most modern technological features. Different MRI machines have different magnetic field strengths, measured in Tesla (T), the most common being 1.5 and 3T. 3T scanners offer double the magnetic field strength of 1.5T scanners which can significantly improve image quality for certain problems, particularly in the brain, urological tract and joints. However, this increased strength can also result in increased artefacts and have implications for people with prostheses/implants where 1.5T scanners would be preferable to produce the best images.
At OneWelbeck, we have both 1.5T and 3T MRI scanners, allowing us to image your problem at the highest quality on whichever scanner is most appropriate. We can create the highest quality images of your body with specific advanced evaluation features for your problem, such as a cardiac MRI suite that allows us to see all seven dimensions of the heart in real time. Due to the time taken to perform an MRI scan, your comfort is our priority and we enhance this by using high comfort MRI beds, music to listen to using headphones and techniques to minimise claustrophobia by using machines with wider spaces.