Can the MRI be wrong in the diagnosis?


The main condition for effective treatment is correct diagnosis. Having concluded on the arm, the patient asks, and could it be error, how reliable is MRI and can the study show an incorrect result? Before you answer this question, we need to understand at what stage the diagnosis can be difficult.

The accuracy of the method of magnetic resonance imaging

For the first time magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 1973. Making a breakthrough in the diagnosis of many diseases, a study has brought a Nobel prize to its developer. The method is based on the principle of MRI is the excitation of hydrogen atoms in tissues of the subject, the electromagnetic field, while the device detects the emitted energy and converts it into a three-dimensional picture.

The accuracy of the diagnosis according to the obtained images depends on many factors. It can be:

Violation of the study

The accuracy of the obtained images depends on the patient. The subject should keep still throughout the scanning procedure, which is about 40 minutes. The slightest perturbation leads to blurred image which is difficult to perform a precise analysis of small structures. Before the procedure must be cleared of all decorations. Incorrectly selected by the radiologist the size of the slice or the lack of planes during scanning allow for the possibility of omissions of important details.

Wrong technique

In some cases, an MRI without contrast does not allow to assess the extent of the disease. In cases when magnetic resonance imaging was administered about the diagnosis of cancer, without contrasting it is difficult to determine the length and structure of small tumors, the spread of metastasis. In this situation, the error will be to underestimate the radiologist the severity of the disease of the patient.

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Lack of qualified radiologist

In this case, errors occur at the stage of interpretation of the MRI results and they are connected with insufficient knowledge of semiotics of diseases on MRI by the radiologist. With little knowledge of the anatomy of the pathology in the picture can be taken of features of the structure of the body. Specialist may incorrectly describe the pictures and put the wrong diagnosis.

The lack of experience of the doctor also plays a big role. Rare disease may lead to confusion, the novice radiologist is not always right to make a differential diagnosis and define a rare disease.

In order to avoid possible mistakes in diagnosis, it is recommended to be tested at specialized centers, it increases chances to get to an experienced specialist. Possible before the examination to read reviews of other patients about the clinic. The patient should strictly observe the rules of procedure, pay attention to the preparation before the study to remove all metal objects, jewelry. When collecting history is necessary to inform the doctor about the presence of implants, fixed dental prostheses in the oral cavity. Although in modern dentistry are not magnetizable metal compounds, the prosthesis can «smear» the picture, thereby increasing the likelihood of errors in the description of the images.