Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI Scan)

  • Medical Reviewer: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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How does a patient obtain the results of the MRI scan?

After the MRI scanning is completed, the computergenerates visual images of the area of the body that was scanned.These images can be transferred to film (hard copy). A radiologist is a physician who is specially trainedto interpret images of the body. The interpretation is transmitted in the form of a report to the practitioner whorequested the MRI scan. The practitioner can then discuss theresults with the patient and/or family.

Future

Scientists are developing newer MRI scanners that are smaller, portable devices. These new scanners apparently can be most useful in detecting infections and tumors of the soft tissues of the hands, feet, elbows, and knees. The application of these scanners to medical practice is now being tested.

Pictures of an MRI of the spine

This patient had a herniated disc between vertebrae L4 and L5. The resulting surgery was a discectomy

Picture of herniated disc between L4 and L5
Picture of herniated disc between L4 and L5
Cross-section picture of herniated disc between L4 and L5
Cross-section picture of herniated disc between L4 and L5

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery

REFERENCES:

"Principles of magnetic resonance imaging"
uptodate.com

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/1/2015
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