Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imaging does not employ any X-rays, but a strong magnetic field and radio waves instead. The heart of a magnetic resonance scanner is built up by an electromagnet weighing several tons and having a tubular opening, which the patient table will slide into. Within a short time, it is possible to make sectional images of every region of the body. Using the digital data, a computer produces images of the examined regions of the body, which will be then analysed by a radiologist.
The brain and the spinal column, the internal organs (except for the lungs) and also the muscles and joints can be most easily detected. Meanwhile, it is even possible to take images of moving organs, such as the beating heart.The further important area of application of magnetic resonance imaging is the precise depiction of blood vessels, early detection of tumours, as well as insights into the body metabolism. The virtual method of image analysis will show the referring colleagues and the patients the processes that go on inside the body.
The advantage of magnetic resonance imaging is that it is a gentle, practically risk-free method of examination. Due to low radiation exposure, even children and pregnant women can be examined. And if the patient does not tolerate iodine-containing contrast media, e.g. those applied in computed tomography, the radiologist can often choose magnetic resonance imaging.