Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced diagnostic test that generates highly detailed images of the body. Unlike many other advanced imaging techniques, MRI does not use radiation (x-rays). Instead, a safe, powerful magnetic field and radiofrequency waves are utilized to generate the diagnostic images.
The Tesla (T) is the unit of strength of the magnetic field. The stronger the magnetic feld, the greater the level of detail and contrast in the images. The initial MRI systems (and most open MRI systems today) have a field strength of less than 0.6 T. After introduction in 1982, 1.5 T imaging systems soon became the reference standard for high quality MRI, and remain the most commonly used field strength in hospitals and outpatient settings today. The 3.0 T MRI system utilized at Park West Imaging is the highest field strength widely available for clinical use, and reflects the latest in MRI technology.
The field strength alone is far from the only important variable in producing the highest quality diagnostic images, as is our goal at Park West Imaging. We also employ a large array of gradient coils specifically designed for different parts of the body. These coils help harness the power of the magnet, and ensure the images, upon which accurate diagnosis is dependent, are of exceptional quality and clarity.
Who performs and interprets MRI exam?
While the technology is impressive, ultimately MRI is simply a tool. Like many tools, the best results are achieved in the hands of those with advanced education and skill. Your exam will be performed by a technologist who has years of training and experience specialized in MRI, under the direction of an on-site attending radiologist. The radiologists reviewing your MRI at Park West Imaging are physicians who specialize in and have advanced training in MRI. They will tailor your exam to suit your body and symptoms, and will interpret your exam.
Preparing for your MRI exam
Preparing for an MRI exam is easy. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you may take your medications as usual. There are no food or drink restrictions, either.
Some general considerations:
What to expect during your MRI exam
The exam is one of the easiest and most relaxed imaging techniques you may experience. Depending on the complexity of the study, each exam may take between 30 and 60 minutes, although more time may be needed for very detailed exams. At Park West Imaging, we don't follow a "one size fits all" approach. Instead, the exam will be tailored to fit you, your special needs, and designed to best demonstrate the potential diagnoses based on your symptoms.
After you MRI exam
There are no after effects of an MRI examination. Following an MRI exam, you will be able to immediately resume your pre-examination activities.
A Board Certified radiologist will interpret your MRI exam and will generate a formal report. This report will be sent to your healthcare provider, who will integrate the results of your MRI exam with your physical exam findings and other laboratory testing. Your provider will then discuss the results with you, and may recommend a treatment plan for your condition. In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend additional testing to further assess your condition.
3T MRI Spine
ORTHOPEDIC AND SPORTS IMAGING
3-Tesla’s improved visualization of articular cartilage, ligaments and nerves makes it easier to confirm or rule out small-joint pathology. This greater ability to differentiate pathology from anatomic variants allows enhanced monitoring of disease progression and earlier, more effective treatments.
MRI FiberTrak Brain Nerve Fibers
3-Tesla MRI provides improved imaging sensitivity to detect brain tumors and hemorrhages and allows better surveillance for treatment. This advanced imaging increases the ability to diagnose Alzheimer's and TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) or "mini-stroke." TIA is a warning stroke that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Early recognition of TIA and prompt treatment can reduce the risk of a major stroke.
ParkWest Imaging supplements our 3T MRI neurological imaging by implementing Fibertrak, Spectroscopy and Diffusion Tensor Imaging. Fibertrak displays nerve fibers in the brain, clearly displaying how injury or disease will affect these fibers, thus affecting physical and behavioral function.
3T MRI Machine