What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a sophisticated diagnostic technique that uses a magnetic field, radiowaves and a computer to generate detailed, cross-sectional images of human anatomy. Because it

produces better soft-tissue images than x-rays can, MRI is most commonly used to image the brain, spine, thorax, vascular system and musculoskeletal system (including the knee and shoulder).

During an MRI exam, the patient is placed inside a scanner that produces a static magnetic field up to 8,000 times stronger than the earth's own magnetic field. Exposure to this force causes the hydrogen protons within the patient's body to align with the magnetic field. When a radiofrequency pulse is applied, the protons spin perpendicular to the magnetic field. As the protons relax back into alignment with the magnetic field, a signal is sent to a radiofrequency coil that acts as an antenna. This signal then is processed by a computer. Different tissues produce different signals. For example, protons in water relax more slowly than those in fat. This differentiation can be detected, measured and converted into a cross-sectional image of the patient's anatomy.

The above description is taken from the ASRT website. For the full description of MRI, click here.

 

National Registration and Certification: American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)

Accrediting Agency: Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)       

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Illinois State Society of Radiologic Technologists
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