Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a multiplanar imaging method based on the interaction between radiofrequency and hydrogen molecules in the human body inside a very strong magnetic field environment. It can produce exquisite images of various parts of the human body for disease diagnosis or treatment planning. Some examples include the brain, spine, blood vessels, and the heart.
Although radiation is not used, the very strong magnetic field may interact with some metallic and electronic implants, or metallic foreign bodies (FB), causing injury to the patient, or damage to the implants. Therefore, it is important that we gather any medical history for the above-mentioned items from you before proceeding with the scan.
Most MRI scanners are large, tube-shaped equipment that open on both ends. During the scan, patients will be required to lie on their backs for a prolonged period, and enter a large donut-shaped equipment that opens on both ends. These machines are usually very noisy during the scans due to magnetic interactions between different parts and will produce loud "humming", "thumping" or "knocking" sounds. Earplugs and headphones will be provided to minimise the noise.
In certain MRI procedures, an intravenous (IV) or intra-articular injection of a gadolinium-based contrast medium may be required to better visualise the area of interest or rule out certain diseases. MRI contrast mediums rarely cause allergic reactions. However, for people with severe kidney failure or any impaired renal function, or have had a previous allergic reaction to MRI contrast medium, you must inform your doctor or any MRI staff. Decisions on whether to proceed with the contrast agent will be made on a case-by-case basis.