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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Principle

A new medical imaging technique that provides a 2D or 3D view of part of the body, especially the brain, by using the magnetic properties of protons.
Unlike the scan, MRI imaging is not invasive and does not irradiate. It can therefore be repeated without danger.
The imaging device consists of a “tunnel”, which contains a large magnet that exposes the patient’s body to a powerful magnetic field. The patient is then exposed to radio waves emitted by an aerial located alongside or around the area to be examined.


Technical file:

Preparation

The examination can create a feeling of claustrophobia when the patient is in the tunnel. In this case, patients can ask for a tranquilliser from their doctor to provide protection during the examination.
Patients must remove all metallic objects (jewellery, watch, glasses, hearing aid, dentures, piercings etc) and their magnetic cards (banker’s card etc), to prevent problems.
It is not necessary to have nil by mouth (except for some examinations) or stop taking one’s regular medicines.

Duration

MRI is an examination that lasts approximately 30 minutes, During this time, the patient must remain still.

Contraindications

MRI examinations are strictly prohibited if the patient carries certain metallic objects, such as a cochlear implant or a pacemaker (heart stimulator).
MRI examinations can also damage hydrocephalus shunt systems.

 

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