MRI of the thoracic spine: what will the procedure?


The spine in the human body plays a huge role in taking care of all physical activity – this is the reason for high prevalence of diseases affecting the spine. Using MRI of the thoracic spine can diagnose dangerous diseases at an early stage of development, thereby preventing serious consequences for the human body.

MRI is based on the phenomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance. Hydrogen molecules are able to be excited with the release of energy under the influence of a powerful electromagnetic field emitted by the MRI scanner. The device captures that energy, transforming it into a precise three-dimensional image, reflecting all the structures of the spine – bone, intervertebral discs, nerve fibers, blood vessels are visualized at the same time good lungs and spinal cord. The study is used in neurology, surgery, neurosurgery and Oncology, showing the smallest pathology and helping professionals to put the correct diagnosis and choose the treatment regimen.

  • Pain in the thoracic unknown etiology, radicular syndrome, «shooting» sensation, tingling or numbness in the extremities, which does not go a long time.
  • Preoperative examination of patients.
  • Control after surgery.

The procedure allows to specify the diagnosis in controversial clinical situations with minimal probability of error.

Contraindications to the study

Despite the safety of the method, the MRI of the thoracic spine, there are strict contraindications, if neglected, may lead to serious consequences. These include:

  • The presence in the human body metal objects (vascular clips, needles, plates), are exposed to the electromagnetic field heat and shifted from the place, causing severe burns and lacerations of the soft tissues.
  • Pacemakers and insulin pumps begin to malfunction after electromagnetic exposure.
  • The fear of enclosed spaces is a relative contraindication.
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  • The excess weight of the patient – couch of the CT scanner is designed for a certain load. Overloading will lead to breakage of the apparatus. The patient needs to prepare beforehand to find out how much it weighs.
  • Allergy to the contrast agent based on gadolinium.
  • The unstable condition of the patient, and the presence of hardware support.
  • Various neuropsychiatric disorders, accompanied by hyperkinesis.
  • Pregnancy in the first trimester and lactation.

How to prepare for the exam?

MRI of the thoracic spine does not require complex training. You need to take care of comfortable clothes without metal elements and to remove all jewelry. When using a contrast agent examination is carried out on an empty stomach, you need to pass a urinalysis to detect possible malfunctions of the kidneys.

What happens during the scanning procedure?

Before the examination the patient removes all jewelry and lies on a couch in the back, arms and legs are fixed with straps. In the ears it is recommended to insert earplugs that issue before the procedure. In the case of contrast enhancement, immediately prior to scan intravenous drug.

The procedure lasts approximately 30 minutes and all this time the patient should keep perfectly still and at the request of the doctor for a few seconds to hold your breath. In the event of unforeseen situations, you can consult a specialist via intercom.

Transcript of the images

How long to wait for results? After the scan is complete the doctor needs time to analyze the images. The average time of waiting for the results takes one hour, but in difficult situations conclusion the issue the next day. With the conclusion, it should be referred to a specialist, sent for an MRI of the thoracic spine.

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The advantages and disadvantages of the method

Magnetic resonance imaging is considered highly accurate and safe for the patient method. When performing a scan not use harmful ionizing cure, therefore magnetic resonance imaging can be performed repeatedly. By obtaining high-precision images of the probability of diagnostic error is minimal.

Like any other method, MRI has disadvantages, the main of them is the high price. In some cases, you can get less costly means of diagnosis. The question of expediency of application of the method of magnetic resonance imaging decides physician.