Magnetic resonance imaging is a diagnostic tool that does not use X-rays and provides well-defined images of tissue pathologies. The professor. Pietro Biondetti, expert in Radiology in Milan , explains what improvements have been made in favor of the patient
MRI: why you run?
Magnetic resonance imaging is the latest diagnostic imaging investigations that have come to enrich the arsenal of physicians and radiologists in particular for the diagnosis of diseases. Basically, the difference from the other radiologic methods is that it does not use X-rays and therefore it is much more harmless. The MRI uses radio waves, magnetic fields and radio frequencies to create images of the more defined body and especially equipped with a contrast between the various tissues, normal and pathological, can not be reached with other methods such as conventional radiography and ultrasound. The resonance can be carried out in all areas of the human body and in particular the brain, the spine and joints. Currently all hospitals are equipped with such devices that are very costly and therefore the investigation should be prescribed with great care to avoid a waste of money.
MRI: there are risks?
Not all patients can perform an examination with this equipment: These are subjects with pacemakers, neurostimulators, pumps inserted into the body for the release of chemotherapy in cancer pathology and of any metallic element with magnetism. Beyond these situations and of pregnant women for which the criteria of prudence should be used, even though nowadays there are no documented damage to the fetus, the resonance is a safe method that can be applied to any subject.
How you do MRI?
The apparatus for performing the magnetic resonance examination is made up of a large magnet in the shape of tube in which the patient is inserted depending on the part of the body to be examined. A possible difficulty is the claustrophobia because some people can not stand to stay in these magnets. In recent years, the technology has tried to solve this problem in two ways: with an open magnetic resonance and equipped with magnets of an increasingly larger entry hole and an increasingly shorter tunnel for the closed magnetic resonance imaging, which provides the best results. One can therefore say that the problem of claustrophobia today is limited.
What are the innovations in the field of Magnetic Resonance?
The innovations in the field of magnetic resonance particularly relate to the strength of the magnets, now reaching up to 3 Tesla for the clinical use and up to 7 Tesla for use in the field of experimentation. Tesla is a unit of measurement of the magnetic field and 1 Tesla is several thousand times the Earth's magnetic field. Other technological advances, however, come to meet the patient's needs with increasingly large magnets, shorter, or open. The main resonance problem is the time required to perform a test: if we want a good quality test must be used in acquisition time and that sometimes go against the patient endurance of. A very important progress, then, is a technology, in the latest equipment, which always requires less exam time to get high quality results.