MRI

The only clinic in the area with the trifecta of MRI machines, means patients will receive the imaging specific to their specific requirements. Three different MRI rooms with night and weekend hours allows for scheduling flexibility and fast results.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses radiowaves and a strong magnetic field rather than xrays to produce detailed images of body tissues and organs. The magnetic field “excites” and then “relaxes” protons in the body, emitting radio signals. The radio signals are processed by a computer to form an image.

 

3T High-Definition MRI

AMI is the only outpatient center in Lincoln equipped with the most advanced MRI that provides highly detailed images, faster. The large bore design is made for patient comfort and is ideal for and larger patients.

1.5T Standard MRI

The most common of MRI machines is used the most often and has many benefits. There is more signal than the 1T open MRI providing a faster and better image. Less signal than the 3T MRI means less noise and heat than the stronger machine.

1T High-field Open MRI

The only high-field Open MRI in Lincoln, allows for three times the amount of patient space than cylindrical MRIs. The open design perfect for claustrophobic and bariatric patients.

What to Expect

The magnetic field used in MRI will pull on certain metal objects and so it is important that you notify your doctor of any that may be implanted into your body. Clothing should be free of metal. Watches and hearing aids must be removed. You may also be asked to remove hairpins, jewelry, removable dental work, glasses, body piercings or any other metal in the region of the body being scanned. Scrubs are provided to change into with private dressing rooms and secured lockers for valuables.

The technologist will ask whether you have a pacemaker, brain aneurysm clips, artificial limbs, or any metal screws or plates. A patient with a pacemaker cannot have an MRI. In most cases, metal used in orthopedic surgery pose no risk during an MRI. You will also be asked if you have ever had a bullet or shrapnel in your body or ever worked with metal. If there is a possibility of metal shrapnel in the eyes, you will be asked to do an Xray prior to the MRI.

Some scans require the patient to receive an injection of gadolinium, a contrast medium, which makes the images easier to read. If this is the case, it will be discussed with you before the procedure. This contrast medium has a lower risk of allergic reaction or kidney damage compared to other mediums commonly used for CT scans. The amount of the contrast injected is determined by the patient’s weight.

A MRI tech will help you onto a table. The table will then slide you into the MRI machine. Normally patients are alone in the room, but you can talk to the staff at any time through an intercom. A call button is also provided if at any time you feel very claustrophobic or unwell. Occasionally family members are approved to be in the room during the scan, especially with young children.

The machine makes loud knocking noises as the pictures are being taken. Patients are provided headphones with a choice of music to distract from the noise. Sometimes machines circulate air around the patient during the scan. You may be asked to hold your breath while some images are being taken. Usually the entire process will take an average of 45 minutes to 1 hour, allowing time also for paperwork and patient care. The exam time may vary from exam to exam. If you are having multiple exams allow extra time for each region being scanned.

Patients can return to normal activities as soon as the scan is complete. The radiologist will determine if there are any abnormalities of the internal organs and bone structures. The radiologist’s interpretation will then be available to the referring physician 24 hours after the exam. The physician’s office will inform patients how to obtain their results.

Common MRI Exams

MRI Abdomen
MRI’s of the abdomen are commonly performed to detect issues in the liver, gallbladder, digestive tract, and other organs. It can also be used to evaluate the state of blood vessels and organs prior to a surgery or transplant.
MRI Pelvis
MRI’s of the pelvis are commonly performed to detect issues in the bladder, prostate, reproductive organs, lymph nodes, rectum, anus and pelvic bones.
MRI Breast
MRI’s of the breast are many times administered after an initial mammogram to further explore abnormalities. Breast MRI’s are ideal for patients with “dense” breast tissue, because MRI images show more detail allowing radiologists to see more than with a standard x-ray image.
MR-Guided Biopsy
Using an MRI machine to guide a biopsy is very efficient because the clear images help radiologists to accurately sample the abnormality.
MRI Extremities
MRI is frequently used to scan major joints in the body. Including shoulders, wrists, knees and hips. MRI can locate and identify the cause of pain, swelling, and bleeding in the tissues around joints and bones. The images can see tears and injuries to tendons, ligaments and muscles. MRI can also show arthritis and tumors involving bones and joints.
MRI Spine
MRI is frequently used to determine the causes of back pain, leg pain and numbness. The exam can detect a bulging, degenerated or herniated intervertebral disk. MRI can be done to help plan surgeries of the spine. MRI performed after surgery will show whether infection or post-op scarring is present. Patients that have had surgery of the spine may require an injection of contrast material.
MRI Brain
MRI of the brain is useful in detecting brain tumors, strokes and certain disorders such as multiple sclerosis. MRI can also detect abnormalities of the eyes or inner ear. Most exams of the brain will require an injection of contrast material to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. A small needle is placed into a vein of the hand or arm for the injection.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
MRA provides detailed images of blood vessels with or without the use of contrast material. MRA can detect blocking or narrowing of arteries, and can also detect aneurysms, an enlarged artery. Commonly preformed MRA Exams include brain, carotids (neck) and renal arteries.
MR Enterography
Magnetic resonance (MR) enterography is used to diagnose inflammation, bleeding, obstructions and other problems in the small intestine. Patients ingest a barium contrast medium before their scan that highlights certain parts of the digestive tract in the images.