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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

  • What is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)?

    Magnetic resonance imaging

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses magnetic field and radio waves to generate images of the body. Unlike X-ray and computed tomography (CT) scans, MRI does not involve radiation. MRI scans are non-invasive and painless. It can produce detailed images of the body organs in thin sections and 3-dimensional views.

    MRI scans can be performed on different parts of the body, but it is commonly used in imaging soft tissues and the nervous system.

  • An MRI scan produces superior images in imaging soft tissues as compared to other imaging modalities. Hence, MRI is widely used in diagnosing various diseases and disorders related to:

    Head

    MRI can detect brain tumours, traumatic brain injury, developmental anomalies, multiple sclerosis, stroke, dementia, infection and the causes of headache.

    Vascular disease

    MRI can detect aneurysms, blockages of the blood vessels, carotid artery disease, and arteriovenous malformations.

    Spine and musculoskeletal disorders

    MRI is sensitive to changes in cartilage and bone structure resulting from injury, disease or ageing. It can detect herniated discs, pinched nerves, spinal tumours, spinal cord compression, torn ligament, cartilage degeneration, tissue inflammation and fractures.

    Discuss with your doctor for a recommendation on the most appropriate imaging option based on your symptoms.

  • Preparing for an MRI scan

    Inform your doctor if:

    • You have any medical devices or implants in your body. Examples include a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator, implantable pump, electronic stimulator, clips, staples, screws, rods and plates. Bring along the device/implant information card (if any) during your scan appointment.
    • You are pregnant or suspected to be pregnant.
    • You have claustrophobia or fear of confined spaces. Your MRI scan may be performed under sedation. Please highlight this when making an appointment. You will need to fast if sedation is required.

    In most cases, surgical staples, plates and screws pose no risks during MRI if they have been in place for more than 4 weeks.

    You will need to change into a gown and remove all loose items such as jewelleries, watch, keys, coins, smartphone, wallet and cards. You may keep your personal belongings in the locker provided.

    You will be asked to fill in a pre-MRI questionnaire to provide information on your medical history. Indicate on the questionnaire if you have any medical device/implant or aesthetic procedures performed such as permanent eyeliner, magnetic eyelashes and skin tattoo. The radiographer will go through the questionnaire with you and explain how the scan will be performed.

    During the MRI scan

    You will need to lie on the scan table, and headphones or ear plugs will be provided to you. A call bell/button will also be provided in case you need to call the radiographer during the scan.

    The body region to be examined will be covered by a coil which acts as signal receiver.

    The scan table will move into the magnet bore or tunnel so that the scan region is positioned at the centre of the magnetic field. There will be intermittent knocking and humming sounds throughout the scan. This is caused by the changes in gradient fields in the magnet.

    It is important that you remain still during the scan. Any body movement will cause blurry images and the scan will have to be repeated.

    You should not feel any discomfort during the scan. However, some patients may feel warm after some time in the magnet. This is normal but if it bothers you, you can press the call bell and inform the radiographer.

    Sometimes, your doctor may order your MRI scan with contrast injection. A contrast medium acts like a dye when it is injected into your blood vessel. It helps to delineate the body organs and soft tissues for better visualisation.

    Allergic reaction to MRI contrast is extremely rare. Should you feel any discomfort after the contrast injection, inform the nurse or radiographer immediately.

    A typical MRI scan will take about 30 – 45 minutes for one body region. It will take longer for multiple body regions, complex studies or if contrast injection is required. MRI under sedation will also take longer time.

    After the MRI scan

    • You may leave and go about your day as usual after the scan.
    • If you had your MRI scan under sedation, the nurse would monitor you for a short period until you are fit to be discharged.
  • Orthopaedic health is one of Mount Elizabeth Hospitals' areas of expertise. If you have bone, spine and joint problems, one of the diagnostic tests that our specialists may recommend is the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI is a painless, non-invasive, powerful and sensitive diagnostic tool for evaluating various medical conditions that affect soft tissues.

    At Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, our medical team will assist you at each step of the diagnostic procedure. Take your first step towards healing and recovery by making an enquiry or appointment with us.

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  • Our Specialists

    There are 174 SpecialistsView All

    • Agasthian T

      Specialty:
      Cardiothoracic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Agasthian Thoracic Surgery Pte Ltd
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #14-12
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      62688875
    • Alan Cheung

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      International Orthopaedic Clinic
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #05-24
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6253 7111
    • Anandakumar S/O Vellasamy

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Centre For Foot And Ankle Surgery
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-34/35
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6684 5828
    • Andrew Quoc Dutton

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Elite Orthopaedics Pte Ltd
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #12-10
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      6836 8000
    • Aneez DB Ahmed

      Specialty:
      Cardiothoracic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      International Centre For Thoracic Surgery Pte Ltd
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-38
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6591 8801
    • Ang Chia Liang

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery
      Sub-specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery - Sports Medicine

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      Clinic:
      Centurion Orthopaedic Centre
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #08-35
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6970 5835
    • Ang Kian Chuan

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthosports Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-41
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6734 8168
    • Ang Teck Kee

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

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      Clinic:
      Livingstone Cardiology Pte Ltd
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #14-13
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      62357536
    • Antony Gardner

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Orthopaedic Associates
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #11-49/50/51
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6334 0622
      Clinic:
      Orthopaedic Associates
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #16-03
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      62358755
    • Aravind Kumar

      Specialty:
      Orthopaedic Surgery

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      Clinic:
      Centre For Spine And Orthopaedic Surgery
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-33/34/35
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6684 5828

    There are 174 SpecialistsView All

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