Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
|Magnetic Resonance Imaging|
uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of your head, body, muscles and blood flow. Because an MRI provides a clear view of internal organs and tissues, it helps physicians diagnose injuries and other health conditions much faster than with other technologies.
Northern Louisiana Medical Center has been offering Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as part of the Diagnostic Imaging Department since 1994. We will now serve both inpatients and outpatients on a GE Signa 1.5T Hi-Speed magnet. The technologist is registered in MR imaging and has 20 years of MR scanning experience. With our most recent upgrade, we are able to perform Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) including carotid, renal, brain vasculature, and run-offs. MR technology is most often used to diagnose and treat problems in the spine or head.
GE Signa 1.5T Hi-Speed magnet
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See below for more information on MR technology used to diagnose and treat problems of the spine or head.
Spinal MRI is performed to:
- Assess the spinal anatomy.
- Visualize anatomical variations and diseased tissue of the spine.
- Help plan surgeries on the spine, such as decompression of a pinched nerve or spinal fusion.
- Monitor changes in the spine after and operation.
- Guide the injection of steroids to relieve spinal pain.
- Assess the disks- bulging, degenerated or herniated intervertebral disk- a frequent cause of severe lower back pain and sciatica.
- Evaluate compressed or pinched and inflamed nerves
- Explore possible causes in patients with back pain (compression fracture for example).
- Image spinal infection or tumors that arise in, or have spread to the spine.
- Assess children with daytime wetting and an inability to fully empty the bladder.
Head MRI is performed to help diagnose:
- Tumors of the brain.
- Developmental anomalies of the brain.
- Vascular anomalies of the head (aneurysm, for example).
- Disorders of the eyes and the inner ear.
- Disease in the pituitary gland.
- Certain chronic disorders of the nervous system (multiple sclerosis, for example).
- Causes of headache.
Currently, MRI is the most sensitive imaging test in the head and spine. As with any imaging study, limitations of MRI of the spine and head do exist. High-quality images are only guaranteed if you remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded. If you are anxious, confused or in severe pain, you may find it difficult to lie still during imaging. Also, the presence of an implant or other metallic object often makes it difficult to obtain clear images. Discuss with your physician any questions or concerns that you may have before being scheduled for this usually painless procedure.
MR Angiography is a minimally invasive medical test that helps physicians:
- Identify disease and aneurysms in the aorta or in other major blood vessels
- Detect atherosclerosis disease in the carotid artery of the neck, which may limit blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.
- Identify a small aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation inside of the brain.
- Detect atherosclerotic disease that has narrowed the arteries to the legs and help prepare for surgery.
- Indicate disease in the renal artery or visualize blood flow to help prepare for a kidney transplant.
- Guide surgeons making repairs to diseased blood vessels, such as implanting or evaluating a stent.
- Detect injury to one or more arteries in trauma patients.
- Evaluate the details of arteries feeding a tumor prior to surgery.
- Identify dissection in the aorta or its major branches.
- Show the extent and severity of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries.
- Plan for a surgical operation, such as coronary bypass.
- Screen individuals for arterial disease, especially patients with a family history of arterial disease or disorders.
MR Angiography is used to examine blood vessels in key areas of the body, including the brain, kidneys, pelvis, legs, lungs, heart and neck. It is performed using x-rays with catheters, CT, and MRI. In MRA a powerful field of radio waves and a computer produce the detailed images. MRA does not use ionizing radiation. (X-rays).
Further information about MRI/MRA, including ways to prepare for the examination, can be obtained by calling Sheri Burns, NLMC Director of Radiology at 318-254-2461 or by logging on to http://www.radiologyinfo.org .
If you are a physician, in need of scheduling a patient, please call Central Scheduling at 318-254-2791.
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