No, an MRI is an absolutely radiation-free procedure. The images are created while the patient lies in a strong magnetic field. All of the patient’s atoms are aligned in one direction and then each small area of the body mass is briefly oriented in a different direction using precisely calculated electromagnetic stimulation. After the impulse is turned off, these areas very quickly return to their original state. The speed of this event depends on the composition of the tissue under examination and can be measured so that images showing the composition and state of the tissue can be calculated from this data. An MRI is a very safe and stress-free for the body.
A contrast medium is always necessary when very similar body tissues (e.g. muscles and blood vessels) must be differentiated from each other. It is also useful when tumors or inflammatory foci are being examined. Here it can provide important additional information since the contrast medium often acts differently in diseased tissue than in the surrounding healthy tissue. When performing vascular examinations using MRI (MRI angiography), the contrast medium is used to represent the vessels alone.
The MRI contrast medium is generally well tolerated. Almost 100 % of patients have no side effects at all after being given the MRI contrast medium. Only in extremely rare cases can there be allergic incompatibility reactions. In most cases, this is simply an allergic reddening of the skin which immediately disappears after the administration of a fast-acting counter-agent. Since the contrast medium does not contain iodine, it can be used without problems even in patients who are allergic to iodine-containing X-ray contrast media. Within a few hours, the body completely expels the contrast medium through urine.
According to current scientific research, MRIs are safe during pregnancy. The loud noises created during the examination may however wake up the unborn infant (the mother wears hearing protection). Since there are no scientific studies regarding possible hearing damage to unborn infants during MRI examinations, use of these examinations for pregnant women should be carefully considered. However, if an imaging diagnosis must be performed for an acutely ill expectant mother, an MRI is always preferable to an X-ray examination.
There are no medical indications against performing magnetic resonance imaging tests on children. Experience has shown that small children aged 3 and up are both enthusiastic and curious about participating as long as their parents are present. Generally, infants can only be examined using short anesthesia since they must lie still.
Yes. The metal alloys in joint prostheses, bone plates, or bone screws generally only cause image distortions in their immediate vicinity. These implants do not create any danger for the patient being examined. This also applies to metallic dental fillings and inlays. Patients with artificial heart valves can also normally undergo an MRI examination without risk.
No. Patients with pacemakers may not have an MRI examination. The electrode cable can heat up in the magnetic field and damage tissue. On the other hand, heart valve prostheses, vascular clips and vascular stents do not pose a problem. However, please inform us regarding any possible prostheses as well as other metal objects or fragments in your body so that we can make an individual determination as to whether a trouble-free examination is possible. For this purpose you will receive a questionnaire in advance, which we will discuss with you in detail.