Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (X-rays). Detailed MR images allow physicians to better evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods such as x-ray, ultrasound or computed tomography (also called CT or CAT scanning).
Your doctor may recommend a MRI of the any of the lower extremities when examining the:
However, in most cases a non-contrast MRI is an effective exam for imaging the body’s organs. Even without the intravenous contrast, MRI can detect pathology in most organs and in some cases the pathology is made less visible on a contrast MRI than a non-contrast scan. For example, non-contrast scans provide greater images of blood vessel activity to detect aneurysms and blocked blood vessels.1 The results of an MRI procedure without contrast are just as valuable and relevant as those done with the use of a contrast agent.