Diffusion Weighted Imaging |
Load (Lumbar) | Cervical Flexion And Extension
| What Is An MRI?
MRI scanners have what is called a “field strength”, measured in
Tesla’s, which determines the strength of the magnet. The higher or
stronger the field strength or Tesla, the better your exam outcome.
The 3 Tesla provides clearer pictures, i.e. images, which can detect
smaller details and abnormalities. In addition, the 3 Tesla
Ultra high field magnet allows much shorter exam times at the same
cost to you and your insurance company.
offers Jacksonville’s FIRST 3 Tesla (3T) MRI scanner, in fact, it
was the first in North Florida. We have the latest state of the art
technology in MRI. Our 3 Tesla short bore Ultra High Field MRI is
the strongest MRI scanner available anywhere. Short bore means it is
not a “tube” or completely closed as in traditional MRI scanners.
It is approximately the size of a CAT scanner, placed in a spacious
suite providing an extremely comfortable environment.
average, your MRI at ICN will take approximately 20-30 minutes.
Once your scan is completed, our
radiologist, a physician specially trained to interpret
radiology exams, will "read your study. Your report will
be faxed to your doctor within 3 - 12 hours for most studies.
Upon completion of your study, we will provide you with a copy of your
study on a CD for your records.
MR examinations offered on the 3T are:
Angiography) uses the same concept and equipment as MRI, but is
different in the aspect it looks at the arteries and veins of your
body instead of the organs and soft tissues. MRA can detect
abnormalities of your blood vessels such as a clot or an aneurysm.
Quite frequently, contrast material or Gadolinium is required for
MRA exams, although not all of them, especially if you have certain
medical conditions. Your doctor will decide if contrast is needed.
offered at ICN include Brain, Carotids, Renal Arteries, Abdomen, and
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(Magnetic Resonance Venography), same concept as MRA except instead
of imaging the arterial aspect, we image the venous aspect of the
vessels. MRV is used to check for thrombosis (blood clot) or
compression of the blood vessels by tumor or other blood disorders
which cause the blood to clot easily. There is no contrast for this
study and there are no special preparations.
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brain is used in addition to our routine or normal Brain MRI exam.
Diffusion imaging measures the movement of water in the brain,
indicating areas where the normal water flow is disrupted or abnormal. A disruption of water flow will indicate an area where there
could possibly be an abnormality. If detected, this can be compared
to the routine Brain MRI images to determine if any additional
testing is needed.
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(Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography),
is the most current and safest way to look at your gallbladder,
biliary tree and liver. Before MRCP, ultrasound was the only
non-invasive exam, extremely inaccurate and did not rule out
gallstones. Another exam is an ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde
Cholangiopancreatography) which is an invasive procedure done in an
operating room with significant risks and complications. MRCP has
replaced diagnostic ERCP, it is safer, faster and easier with just
as much accuracy in ruling out gallstones, tumors or other
abnormalities. MRCP is done without anesthesia and without the risks
of surgery. MRCP takes approximately 30 minutes to perform and you
should have nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior to your exam.
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at the spinal canal and nerves which exit the vertebral body of the
spine to evaluate for herniated discs or other spinal abnormalities
that would press up against the nerves. In the past, myelography was
done at the hospital with a needle inserted into the spinal area and
x-ray dye injected into the spinal canal and x-rays were then taken.
There were risks and complications involved. After the procedure,
you had to lie flat on your back for several hours. With myelography
on ICN’s 3T MR scanner, you simply lie on the MR table just as you
would for any other MR exam, there is no contrast injected into your
vein, let alone your spinal area and there is no preparation.
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LOAD (LUMBAR) or weight bearing MRI
better biomechanical evaluation of the lumbar spine and provides
more information as to the extent of a disc displacement as with
traditional Lumbar MRI. For example, if your back hurts only when
you are sitting or standing but not when lying down, a Routine MRI
of your back may not show how displaced, bulged or herniated a disc
is, but when axial load is applied, which mimics weight bearing or
standing up, the extent of the displaced, bulged or herniated disc
can be better evaluated. Axial Load Imaging is not indicated for all
people, especially in the elderly or patients with osteoporosis.
Another great advantage to Axial Load is that you will be lying on
the MR table not sitting upright as with the Upright Open scanners
so you are more comfortable, less movement of your body, because
really, who can sit still for 45 minutes? In addition to the
comfort, this exam adds an additional 8-10 minutes to your MRI so
your total exam time is still 30 minutes.
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FLEXION AND EXTENSION
with the Axial Load Lumbar MRI Flexion/Extension gives a better
biomechanical evaluation of the cervical spine and provides more
information as to the extent of a disc displacement in flexion (chin
to chest), extension (head tilted backwards) as well as neutral
procedure is extremely helpful if you have been involved in an
automobile accident or any accident with a whiplash type injury
since it also evaluates the ligaments that help support the cervical
spine and discs of the cervical spine. Cervical Flexion/Extension is
not indicated for all people, your doctor will determine if this
specialty exam is for you.
strives to provide you a relaxed, comfortable and stress free MRI
experience. Combined with state of the art technology, our patient
friendly scanner design, our staff’s compassion and patience, the
expertise of our radiologist and the family atmosphere you feel
walking into our centers, you are assured you have come to the right
place for your diagnostic needs.
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WHAT IS AN MRI? Magnetic Resonance
Imaging, or more commonly known as MRI or MR, is painless,
non-invasive and is one of the safest, most comfortable imaging
techniques available. It combines a powerful magnetic field, radio
frequency waves (similar to that produced by microwave ovens) and an
advanced computer system to produce accurate, detailed pictures of
organs and tissues to diagnose a variety of medical conditions. MRI
is superior in imaging soft tissue areas of your body and specific
diseases which cannot be evaluated or assessed with other imaging
methods such as X-ray, CAT scans or Ultrasound. MRI also has no
ionizing radiation involved.
All MRI scanners have
what is called a “field strength”, measured in Tesla’s, which
determines the magnets strength. The higher or stronger the
field strength or Tesla, the better your exam outcome is. The
pictures or images are clearer and smaller details and abnormalities
are detected as well as much shorter exam times.
There are several
different types of MR machines. One that is most commonly known is
typically referred to as a “closed” magnet or tunnel. This
traditional MR scanner is a large cylinder shaped tube or tunnel in
which you are slid into for your MRI. There are also “open” scanners
in which the machine is open on all sides. These scanners are very
helpful for scanning patients who are claustrophobic or fearful of
being in tight enclosed environments, as well as those people who
material or Gadolinium, is requested to further enhance your study.
This is given through the vein of your arm with a very small needle.
With some MRI and MRA exams, an IV is started in the vein, once the
exam is over it is of course removed. The contrast can show certain
organs or soft tissues more clearly than without the contrast and is
not needed on all MR studies. Your doctor will decide if contrast is
needed. The radiologist or technologist may ask if you have
allergies such has hay fever, asthma, kidney/renal disease or have
had an allergic reaction to MR contrast before. If you are allergic
to anything or have had a previous adverse reaction, must inform the
technologist prior to the exam. Gadolinium or MR contrast is
completely different from X-ray or CAT Scan dye, there is no iodine
in MR contrast, so allergic or adverse reactions are less likely.
As with any test or
procedure, you should not have an MR Scan if you are pregnant, as
this could be harmful to the baby. While there are no known
potential or harmful risks with MR, if you are pregnant, talk to
your doctor prior to having an MRI scan.
WHY DO I NEED AN MRI?
There are many reasons
why your physician may order an MRI. Some include diseases such as
metastatic disease/cancer, spine or joint (knee, shoulder ect)
injury, headaches, dizziness, stroke, high blood pressure, prior
back surgery with continuing pain, many types of neurological
disorders as well as abdominal or pelvic pain. MR is the best exam
for imaging ligaments and tendons, as well as cartilage or loss of
“cushion” of the joints.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN
HAVING AN MRI/MRA?
An MRI scanner is a
large machine which has a circular opening with a table to lie on
while having your study, usually on your back. “Coils” or special
devices are often used and placed around the area being examined;
these coils send and receive the radio waves used to produce the
image or picture of your body. The table slides into the opening and
stops when the body part being examined has reached the center most
part of the magnet or MR scanner known as isocenter. It is very
important during this process that you remain as still as possible.
Depending on the exam you are having done, the technologist
performing your study will ask you to hold your breath for a brief
moment and then will tell you when to breathe normally. The
technologist performing your study can see you at all times during
the exam. There is also an intercom system which allows the
technologist to talk to you, and you to talk to them. While the exam
is being performed, you will hear loud knocking or banging noises
coming from within the MR scanner. These noises are necessary and
important in allowing the magnetic field to best 'see' the
appropriate part of the body. You are given ear plugs and most MRI
centers offer music during the exam, if so, you will be given a set
of headphones as well. Depending on the type of MR scanner you are
being examined on, your study can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1
When having an MR with
intravenous contrast, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything
approximately 8 hours prior to study. A small needle is used and inserted into the
vein of your arm and the contrast is injected. You may feel a warm
or flushed sensation while the contrast is being injected as well as
a metallic taste in your mouth. These only last a few very short
minutes. Very rarely people can have an allergic reaction to the
contrast injection. The reaction most commonly starts with sweating,
dizziness, nausea and difficulty breathing. Hives and itching may
also be associated with the injection. If this happens, the
radiologist and technologist know exactly what to do. If you are
allergic to anything or have had a previous adverse reaction, inform
the technologist prior to the exam.
In most cases, MR is
safe for patients with metal implants with a few exceptions:
You should notify the
technologist prior to your exam if you have any of the following:
infusion ports or pumps
screws, plates or surgical staples
You should also notify
the technologist prior to examination if you have ever worked with
metal, around metal or had metal shaving or particles in your eye.
You will then have an X-ray of your eyes to make sure there are no
small metallic pieces still there as this could be harmful once you
enter into the MR scanning room.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN
HAVING AN MR SCAN AT ICN
An ICN associate will
notify you the day prior to your appointment to confirm your arrival
time and provide you with specific instructions to prepare for your
exam, if any is needed, as well as review your health insurance
When you arrive at ICN,
you will walk into a very comfortable and relaxing atmosphere, just
as if you were at home and will be promptly greeted by our friendly
staff. They will walk you through the paperwork you need to fill
out. Once you have completed the paperwork, you will be asked to
have a seat in the waiting room until you are called for your
When you are called for
your exam, you will be lead to the dressing area where you will be
asked to remove any jewelry. You may also be given a gown or a set
of scrubs and asked to change your clothes. Lockers are provided so
you may lock your personal belongings in the locker during your
Once you have changed
and are ready for your exam, you will be lead to the MR suite. The
technologist will explain to you the exam you are having done, give
you a set of ear plugs and/or a headset for listening to music. If
you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask!
You will then be asked
to lie down on the table, typically on your back. Our technologist
will then make sure you are comfortable and position you in the
scanner. Once you are positioned, you are ready to begin. Our
technologist will exit the suite and notify you over the intercom
the study is going to start. For some studies, the technologist will
come over the intercom and ask you to hold your breath for a few
seconds and then let you know when to breathe normally.
Once the scan is
completed, our technologist will then lead you back to the dressing
area so you can change back into your clothes. Once you have
changed, you are all done.
We will give you a CD
containing the pictures of your MR Scan.
Once your scan is
completed, our radiologist, a physician specially trained to
interpret radiology exams, will “read” your study and a typed,
signed report will be faxed to your doctor within 24 hours, quite
frequently the same day. If requested, we will deliver the images on
CD or film to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss the results
of the MR Scan with you as well as a treatment plan if needed.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN
Typically with MRI/MRA,
there is no preparation. If your exam involves imaging the abdomen
or pelvis area you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for 6-8
hours. You may go about your daily routine as normal with no
limitations or special preparations.
If you have had previous diagnostic exams on the
same body part we are imaging, it is always helpful that you bring
those images with you so our radiologist can compare the two studies
to note any changes since the last exam.
How do I
prepare to have this exam?
Because we use
a large magnet in the MRI, no metallic objects or mechanical
devices can enter the imaging room. You may want to keep this in
mind when deciding what to wear to your MRI appointment. Below
is a list of suggestions to help you prepare.
Wear something light weight and comfortable which is easy to take
on and off. Avoid wearing clothing which has a lot of metal
snaps, zippers or hooks.
jewelry and watches must be removed.
Many hair products, such as "Topik" to cover hair loss, or
attachable hair weaves contain magnetic particles, and they must
Any hair clips, ties, or pins which are made of metal or have
metal parts on them must be removed.
Because some make up, particularly mascara, is made with a
metallic base, it is best not to wear much make up the day of
If you wear dentures, or partial dental plates, they must be
You may continue to take any routine medications prescribed by
your physician and there are no dietary restrictions
you are instructed otherwise by your referring physician.
Because we use a strong magnet in the MRI, patients who have
pacemakers cannot have an MRI exam. You will be asked to
complete an MRI Patient Screening form prior to your exam.
Additional information or testing may be needed prior to your
MRI exam to ensure that it is safe for you to have this test:
if you have any
other implanted medical devices such as cochlear implants,
penile implants, aneurysm clips, artificial heart valves, or
recent cardiac stent
or if you have
metal shavings or gunshot shrapnel in the face or eye.