MRI of the lumbosacral spine: how is the procedure

Procedure MRI of lumbosacral spine

Examination of the body using the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the last decade gained wide popularity and fame. In his work, this method is used by doctors of almost all specialties. But what is magnetic resonance imaging and the purposes for which it is needed, do not represent all patients.

This method of diagnosis is effective and, in most cases, perfectly safe. To obtain the image using radio waves and a magnetic field. In the beginning, MRI was called nuclear magnetic (NMR) that alarmed people. They thought that the survey will be conducted using radiation and nuclear reaction. But not so long ago doctors all over the world, it was decided to change the name on the MRI.

Used MRI techniques can produce a study of the functions of the various organs – to determine and measure the speed of blood flow, the cerebrospinal fluid, the level of diffusion in the tissues, to diagnose cerebral circulation, endoscopic examination of pathologies of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Well, you can examine the pelvic organs – the uterus with appendages, the abdominal organs – the spleen, pancreas, liver, and kidneys, and adrenal glands.

MRI of the lumbosacral spine provides the opportunity to clearly see all the fabrics in the study area arrays of muscles, tendons and ligaments, bone structures and blood vessels, tissue and sheath of the spinal cord. This gives you the ability to identify abnormal development of the spine and tissues that surround it, as well as for early diagnosis of benign and malignant tumors.

How is the procedure MRI of the spine

The MRI forms a magnetic field, in which are placed the investigated patient. The device produces an RF pulse in a matter of seconds, while the tissue molecules resonate. Hence the name magnetic resonance. Return emit vibrations of the nuclei of atoms, which are recorded by the computer. On the screen appears the image of the body part.

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The result of imaging displayed in the film, in each square visible section of the body. On the basis of these slices are built in a very clear and accurate images that give a sense of where a particular pathology, but also to determine what is tumor from fluid, bone, muscle.

During the examination the patient does not feel any discomfort, the procedure is painless and takes very little time. To do an MRI of the lumbar spine no special preparation is required except to fill out a questionnaire and consult with your doctor to identify possible contraindications to this type of research.

Clothing should be no metal jewelry should be removed, and all magnetic media (such as flash drives and cell phones) must be left in a special safe.

During the procedure, the patient should be in a stationary state. The results will be ready in a few minutes after conducting this research, which is very important when you need emergency medical care.

The advantages of magnetic resonance therapy

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Compared to other methods of radiation diagnosis, MRI has several advantages:

  • to conduct research in any of the planes, taking into account the anatomical characteristics of a person and, if necessary, to obtain images in any projection, allows to forecast, define the term and determine the right treatment;
  • is performed without ionizing radiation, and therefore not harmful to health, can be repeated multiple times, at one time, perhaps, to diagnose various authorities, gives the opportunity to explore children and pregnant women;
  • detailed and highly informative study of how the brain and spinal cord;
  • determines the presence of small tumors, determine their structure, by obtaining slices up to 1 mm in different planes;
  • provides the opportunity to examine the functional characteristics of acid-alkaline balance, how fast moving biological fluids, etc.;
  • the examination is not necessary to move the patient and scanning machine itself.
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Indications for MRI of sacral and lumbar spine

At the stage of examination and diagnosis the doctor can recommend carrying out magnetic resonance imaging if you suspect the following diseases of the spine:

  • spinal injuries and their consequences;
  • osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral spine;
  • ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory process in the joints of the spine;
  • spondylosis – growth of bone tissue on the surface of the vertebrae, which leads to their deformation and degeneration;
  • a myelitis (inflammatory disease of the spinal cord);
  • hernia and protrusion of intervertebral discs;
  • congenital anatomical defects of individual vertebrae;
  • acquired defects of the structure of the spine. Such defects include globalizacija (from the sacrum bone) of the first lumbar vertebra and sacralization of the last vertebra in the spine (that is, the fusion with the sacrum);
  • stenosis (narrowing) of the spinal canal;
  • changes in responsible for the blood supply of the spinal cord blood vessels;
  • spondylolisthesis is a pathological condition characterized by the displacement of a vertebra lying above the underlying relatively in a horizontal plane;
  • neoplastic growths and lesions vertebral metastases.

What is fraught with dizziness osteochondrosis see here.

The application of this method shows in painful sensations in the lower back and legs, feeling of stiffness in the back, poor circulation in the lower extremities.

Magnetic resonance imaging is appointed and in the planning of various surgeries on the spine, as well as for monitoring the postoperative condition of the patient.

Contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging

This examination is absolutely contraindicated in the following cases:

  • chronic renal failure, where impaired excretion of contrast medium from the body;
  • the first trimester of pregnancy;
  • individual intolerance to contrast agents;
  • the presence in the body of the patient metal objects – electronic middle ear implants, joint prosthesis, vascular clips, pacemakers, etc.;
  • body weight over 120 kg (this limitation is related to the limits of the permissible load on the table of the MRI machine);
  • various psychomotor diseases in the acute stage;
  • claustrophobia;
  • the state of alcoholic or narcotic intoxication.
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Alternative research methods

In the case when for any reasons it is impossible to get an MRI, experts have resorted to x-ray study or CT scan.

Computed tomography (CT) is the method of instrumental diagnosis, during which to obtain images of internal organs used x-rays and a special scanner. During the study the patient lies on a special table connected to a CT scanner – a device of annular shape. The scanner rotates and passes through the examined region of the x-ray beams, resulting in the computer there is a picture of the organ under investigation. To improve image quality the patient is often injected contrast fluid.

X-ray examination is most often used to determine the presence of injury. The device penetrates the beam surveyed area, and a sensitive detector are fixed radiation that come from the other side of the body in the form of black-and-white image.

Unfortunately, alternative methods can identify only pathologies that affect the bone structure. In all other cases, MRI remains the leader among the methods of instrumental diagnosis.

If you wish to receive a transcript of Your MRI scan You can consult our doctor.

In clinics, the average price of an MRI sacral lumbar is around 6000-8000 rubles.

Video: a Clear guide to conducting magnetic resonance imaging