MRI - What you need to know

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, also called magnetic resonance tomography or MRT) is a modern cross-sectional procedure with which three dimensional cross-sectional images of the interior of the human body can be created. The procedure is completely painless and harmless, since no X-rays are generated during the MRI. Instead, the behavior of the human body in a magnetic field is measured. The hydrogen atoms present in the body are used to create the images.

Magnetic resonance imaging has been used in diagnostic radiology since the beginning of the 1980s and has become more and more significant in the graphical representation of the entire locomotor system, the spinal column, and almost all parts and organs of the human body. The duration of the examination depends on the area to be investigated and the individual issues. Generally it lasts between 15 and 40 minutes.

Magnetic resonance therapy is a very safe method of examination. There are however cases in which an examination either may not be done or may only be done while observing special safety regulations. This includes, for example, patients who wear metal implants, metal clips, or metal prostheses. Here, a case-by-case decision must be made as to whether a safe MRI examination is possible. At present, patients with pacemakers may not undergo an MRI examination.