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  • Types of MRI Exams

    • Brain MRI
      An MRI of the brain produces very detailed pictures of the brain. It is commonly used to study patients with headaches, seizures, weakness, blurry vision, etc. It also can further evaluate an abnormality seen on a CT scan. During the brain MRI, a special device called a head coil is placed around the patient's head. It does not touch the patient, and the patient can see through large gaps in the coil. This device is what helps to produce the very detailed pictures of the brain.
    • Cardiac MRI
      Cardiac MRI can evaluate the size and thickness of the chambers of the heart, the extent of damage caused by a heart attack or progressive heart disease, and build-up of plaque and blockages in the blood vessels. It is an invaluable tool for detecting and evaluating coronary artery disease and the function of the heart muscles, valves and vessels.
    • Spine MRI
      This test is most commonly used to look for a herniated disc or narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) in patients with neck, arm, back and/or leg pain. It is also the best test to look for a recurrent disc herniation in a patient who has had prior back surgery.
    • Bone and Joint MRI
      MRI can evaluate virtually all of the bones and joints, as well as the soft tissues. Tendon, ligament, muscle, cartilage and bone injuries can be diagnosed using MRI scans. It can also be used to look for infections and masses.
    • Abdomen MRI
      MRI of the abdomen is most frequently used to further evaluate an abnormality seen on another test, such as an ultrasound or CT scan. Thus, the exam is usually tailored to look at specific organs or tissues, such as the liver, adrenal glands or pancreas.
    • Pelvic MRI
      For women, pelvic MRI is used to evaluate the ovaries and uterus as follow-up to an ultrasound exam which showed an abnormality. It is also used to evaluate endometrial cancer. For men, pelvic MRI is sometimes used to evaluate prostate cancer.
    • MRA
      An MRA evaluates blood vessels. The blood vessels in the neck (carotid and vertebral arteries) and brain are frequently studied by MRA to look for areas of narrowing or dilatation. In the abdomen, the arteries supplying blood to the kidneys are also frequently examined with this technique. The extremities (arms, legs) can also be studied for narrowing.

    All MRI exams are interpreted by a board certified radiologists with subspecialty training in MRI. 

    For more information about MRI at The Miriam Hospital, call 401-793-4448 or e-mail KLaurie@lifespan.org.