You’ve learned you need an MRI with contrast. What does that mean, and how will it help? An MRI is an abbreviation for a magnetic resonance imaging test. The MRI scans the interior of the parts of your body your doctor needs further information on before proceeding with treatment.
Our board-certified radiologists with REDI Diagnostics Corp in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, are the experts you need to see when your doctor orders an MRI. We tell you everything you need to know before the procedure so there aren’t any surprises.
An MRI is a noninvasive test that isn’t painful. More good news: there’s no radiation involved like with X-rays and CT scans. The MRI produces a magnetic field around your body, then radio waves emit signals that create cross-sectional views of your tissues, organs, bones, and joints. These high-resolution images help show what’s going on inside.
The contrast is a chemical that helps show the condition of your organs and blood vessels very clearly — more clearly than with an MRI alone. The quality of the MRI images is enhanced significantly with contrast.
You’ll be given an IV to administer the contrast. It takes less than half a minute for the dye to flow into your blood vessels. After the test, the substance is eliminated from your body via your urine within one day.
Following are four categories of physical problems that can be illuminated with use of an MRI with contrast.
Is there a tumor growing in an organ or other soft tissue? A small tumor is often hard to detect; using an MRI with contrast may show the tumor in its early stages in any soft tissue, joint, or other area of your body. Your radiologist may be able to accurately detect its size, exact location, and if it’s cancer, whether it’s spread to other areas. Early detection saves lives.
An MRI with contrast shows tumors and other abnormalities of body organs including the following:
Heart disease kills the most Americans every year — about 700,000. Your radiologist is able to examine your veins and arteries using an MRI with contrast. Do you have plaque in your arteries? Do you have carotid artery disease because arteries are blocked? Is there an aneurysm? An MRI with contrast answers all of these questions.
An MRI with contrast also provides clear pictures of your heart’s chambers, thickness of your heart’s walls, and issues with your aorta. If you have damage due to heart disease, an MRI shows the extent of your problem.
While an MRI is often used to show soft tissue problems in your musculoskeletal system, such as a severed anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or meniscus injury, an MRI with contrast is used more often when there are spinal cord issues.
Bone infections, multiple sclerosis, herniated discs, compressed discs, pinched nerves, tumors on your spine, and compression fractures are all conditions that benefit from an MRI with contrast, which can help your doctor decide your treatment regimen.
If you’ve been in an accident and had a brain injury, an MRI with contrast shows your injury in greater detail than an MRI without it. It also can show brain tumors, help diagnose multiple sclerosis, stroke, dementia, and a brain infection.
Call or book an appointment online today with REDI Diagnostics Corp for expert radiology testing and diagnosis.