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MRI Chest

What is MRI of the chest?
MRI is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal Body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. MRI does not use ionizing Radiation (x-rays).
Detailed MR images allow physicians to evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases.

Why should I do it?
MR imaging of the chest is performed to:

  • Assess abnormal masses, including cancer of the lungs or other tissues, which either cannot be assessed adequately with other imaging modalities (typically CT) or which are particularly well-suited to MR imaging.
  • Determine tumor size, extent, and the degree of spread to adjacent structures.
  • Assess the anatomy and function of the heart and its component structures (valves, etc.).
  • Assess myocardial perfusion (blood flow to the heart) and infarct (scar in the heart muscle due to prior obstruction of blood flow).
  • Determine blood flow dynamics in the vessels and heart chambers.
  • Display lymph nodes and blood vessels, including vascular and lymphatic malformations of the chest.
  • Assess disorders of the chest bones (vertebrae, ribs and sternum) and chest wall soft tissue (muscles and fat).
  • Assess for pericardial (thin sac around the heart) disease.
  • Characterize mediastinal or pleural lesions seen by other imaging modalities, such as chest x-ray or CT.

A special form of MRI called magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is helpful to assess the vessels of the chest cavity (arteries and veins). MRA can also Demonstrate an abnormal ballooning out of the wall of an artery (aneurysm) or a torn inner lining of an artery (dissection).

Any preparations needed?

  • Guidelines about eating and drinking before an MRI exam vary with the specific exam.
  • The radiologist or technologist may ask if you have allergies of any kind, such as allergy to iodine or x-ray contrast material, drugs, food, the environment, or Asthma.
  • The radiologist should also know if you have any serious health problems, or if you have recently had surgery.
  • Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
  • If you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) or anxiety, you may want to ask your physician for a prescription for a mild sedative prior to the scheduled Examination.
  • Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home if possible, or removed prior to the MRI scan. These items include
    • Jewelry, watches, credit cards and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged.
    • Pins, hairpins, metal zippers and similar metallic items, which can distort MRI images.
    • Removable dental work.
    • Pens, pocket knives and eyeglasses.
  • People with the following implants cannot be scanned and should not enter the MRI scanning area unless explicitly instructed to do so by a radiologist or Technologist who is aware of the presence of any of the following:
    • Internal (implanted) defibrillator or pacemaker
    • Cochlear (ear) implant
    • Some types of clips used on brain aneurysms
    • Some types of metal coils placed within blood vessels
  • You should tell the technologist if you have medical or electronic devices in your body, because they may interfere with the exam or potentially pose a risk, Depending on their nature and the strength of the MRI magnet. Some implanted devices require a short period of time after placement (usually six weeks) Before being safe for MRI examinations. Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Artificial heart valves
    • Implanted drug infusion ports
    • Implanted electronic device, including a cardiac pacemaker
    • Artificial limbs or metallic joint prostheses
    • Implanted nerve stimulators
    • Metal pins, screws, plates, stents or surgical staples
  • A recently placed artificial joint may require the use of another imaging procedure. If there is any question of their presence, an x-ray may be taken to detect And identify any metal objects.
  • Patients who might have metal objects in certain parts of their bodies may also require an x-ray prior to an MRI.
  • Parents who accompany children into the scanning room also need to remove metal objects and notify the technologist of any medical or electronic devices They may have.
  • Infants and young children may require sedation or anesthesia to complete an MRI exam without moving