MRI whole body: is it possible?


To do a full examination of the whole body required in cases when the available clinical data do not allow us to determine the localization of damage, or it is done to detect diseases in the preclinical stage. Typically, whole-body MRI is recommended in the following cases:

  • in the framework of check-up (preventive examination);
  • for the initial diagnosis of tumors in patients at risk;
  • topical diagnosis and detection of metastasis of tumors already diagnosed;
  • quality control of the conducted treatment in the presence of several lesions in different parts of the body.

MRI is completely harmless, so the total body scan can be carried out repeatedly even after relatively short intervals of time. The limitation in this case will be more of a cost study, from a medical point of view, obstacles to the re-scanning no.

  • Benign and malignant tumors of some organs in the initial stages occur completely asymptomatic. This is a neoplasm of the kidneys, pancreas and ovaries. By the time of onset of clinical symptoms is diagnosed with III-IV stage of the cancer process, by using MRI, these tumors are identified at an early stage, the probability of treatment success increases many times.

Detection of tumors and metastases using MRI

A full examination of the body to detect tumors, usually recommended for patients:

  • having adverse family history (presence of malignant tumors in blood relatives);
  • risk due to constant exposure to harmful factors at work or living in adverse environmental conditions;
  • when you receive a positive result of a blood test for tumor markers;
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  • for diagnosis of tumors, detection or exclusion of changes in the lymph nodes and distant metastases;
  • to assess the quality of treatment for multiple tumor lesions.

To plan surgical intervention is often used aiming the scanning area of the forthcoming operation.

For the diagnosis of tumors often use MRI with contrast injection. Hypoallergenic and non-toxic product based on the metal gadolinium is injected intravenously and is distributed by blood flow throughout the body, accumulates in structures with ultra-intense blood flow, and this applies primarily to the tumors.

What to choose for the diagnosis of tumors, MRI or scintigraphy?

Scintigraphy is in the human body is introduced to the device. This substance, which in the process of tissue metabolism is absorbed by the examined organs and accumulates there. Unlike natural metabolite that one of the atoms in its structure a label is a radioisotope, its radiation is perceived by the camera and used to construct the image.

To compare methods of study made on three criteria: informativeness, security and cost.

  • Informative whole-body MRI at initial diagnosis is higher than that of scintigraphy. Using magnetic scanning is possible not only to detect tumor, but also to determine its position relative to nearby structures and organs. In addition, the full magnetic whole-body scan, with contrast or without, to detect tumors in various organs and tissues. Scintigraphy for each body requires a different device, so this survey is more suitable to detect already diagnosed with metastases of the tumor or control dynamics.
  • Security. Magnetic field and radio waves used during MRI safe even if the field of action of the device gets all of the human body. Scintigraphy uses tracers labeled with radioactive atoms, so it is impossible to carry out as often as MRI.
  • The cost of the two studies varies widely depending on the class of the device and the use of additional drugs.
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In some cases, magnetic scanning can not be carried out?

The magnetic field is completely harmless for the organism, but can affect metal objects and electronic devices, so the magnetic scanning is not carried out patients:

  • with implantable electronic devices: pacemakers, cochlear implants, insulin pumps. If the device has magnetic protection or allows the ability to remove the magnetic module (cochlear implant), MRI can be carried out;
  • with the loose flow with metal inclusions: clips of brain vessels, vascular stents, foreign bodies of different origin. Patients with dental implants made of titanium and orthopedic plates up to 15 cm in length, fixed to bone, the study can be carried out, but with the appearance of burning sensation in the region of the implant it needs to be stopped.

The possibility of whole-body scanning in patients with claustrophobia are limited, as the majority of the devices of open type low – floor and high quality diagnostics of the whole organism requires the highest resolution.