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everything you need to know

Is it harmful to health? What are the risks? Find out here about some of the myths that have been created around magnetic resonance imaging.

THE MRI revolutionized the process of diagnosing and evaluating joint pathologies, of the central nervous system or abdominalbut there are still many myths that make this precious exam a beast with seven heads.

The truth is that over time some conspiracy theories have emerged, some more elaborate than others, about the supposed harm that this type of exam could cause to patients. However, this is a diagnostic method that can save lives.

MRI scan: what you need to know

How it works?

With a highly complex and precise technology, this diagnostic exam is based on the emission of radiofrequency waves in a strong magnetic field. It makes it possible to obtain accurate images of the human body in its most varied planes: axial, coronal and sagittal.

Are there risks?

As it does not use the dreaded X-rays or any other ionizing radiation, the magnetic resonance serves precisely and is considered an innocuous examination, that is, completely harmless to the body.

Precautions to be taken before and during the exam

  • Must be fasting for at least 3 hours.
  • Water intake is allowed only in cases where the patient needs to take some prescribed medicine.
  • As there is a strong magnetic field in the exam room, you must remove any and all objects that can be attracted, such as rings, piercings, earrings, glasses, hairpins and prostheses.

Who cannot take the exam?

People who, for health reasons, depend on the following devices cannot undergo an MRI, namely:

  • cranial aneurysm clips;
  • cardiac pacemaker;
  • cardiac defibrillator;
  • catheter;
  • neural stimulation system;
  • spinal stimulation system;
  • cochlear implant;
  • metal tubes in the ears;
  • insulin pump;
  • any metallic implants;
  • metallic fragments in the body;
  • surgical staples;
  • screws, rods, plates or wires in the bones;
  • some tattoos;
  • some types of makeup.

The equipment

There are two types of equipment for doing MRI scans. One, the most traditional, with a tunnel – in which the patient lies on a platform that enters a tunnel open at both ends. The other is a type of equipment with a reclining chair – and that avoids discomfort in cases of claustrophobia. In this, the patient is seated in a reclined chair and only the part of the body that must be analyzed is placed in a small concavity. All the rest of the body is outside the equipment.

Facts about MRI

  • During the exam, the machine will emit a noise that resembles the sound of a hammer;
  • It is essential that the patient remain still and relaxed during the examination.
  • MRI lasts 30 minutes on average.
  • It is a painless exam.
  • It may be necessary to apply a small dose of a contrast product, which can cause some heat in the arm where it was injected.

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