MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a method of looking inside the body using magnetism and radio waves to produce remarkably clear pictures of the body, such as brain, spine, and joints. An MRI scanner consists of a strong magnet with a radio transmitter and receiver. MRI produces soft-tissue images and is used to distinguish normal, healthy soft tissue from pathologic (diseased) tissue.
A 3 Tesla (3T) MRI system which refers to the field strength of the magnet. 3T MRI provides the highest quality, most accurate diagnostic images. There are many small structures in the body and it is important for physicians to be able to see them with as much detail as possible.
MRI is commonly used to look at the brain, spine and nerves, joints such as shoulders and knees, blood vessels such as the carotid arteries, breasts, and abdominal organs such as the liver.
In some circumstances, a contrast agent (gadolinium) is injected to give the radiologist more information about a specific body part as it looks at the blood flow to a particular area of interest.
A CT (or CAT) scan uses specialized x-ray beams to create highly-detailed pictures of the body. The special x-ray beams pass cross-sectionally through the body and are received by a special detector array, which separates the beam into very thin slices. The high-resolution slices are typically grouped into volumes of data which can be reconstructed into any desired plane without losing resolution (clarity).