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Magnetic Resonance Image(MRI) - Research Paper Example

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Magnetic Resonance Image(MRI)

The very large cost of MRI machines and their large size and specialized installation requirements acts as a deterrent to wider use of this technology. There is work underway that promises reduced costs and size of MRI machines, especially in the form of specialized machines for the scan of extremities such as wrists and ankles. The success of this effort could lead to wider use of the technology. Keywords: Magnetic Resonance Imaging, diagnostics, magnetic pulse 1. Introduction: The first Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) was produced in 1973 and the procedure has now become a rapidly growing medical diagnostic tool for the medical profession. Over 30 million MRI procedures were done in the US in 2010 and new advances in technology is making specialized MRI procedures available for screening for a wider range of diseases and medical conditions each year. The human body can be considered to be essentially made up of three types of material; bone which is hard and made up of minerals such as calcium, soft tissue including muscles, flesh, blood vessels and organs such as liver, kidney, heart and lungs and fluids including blood and air. The field of diagnostic imaging started with the discovery of X-rays in 1895 by Wilhelm Rontgen. Even today, over two-thirds of medical diagnostics are done using X-rays. X-rays are ionizing radiations and the image is captured on a photographic film. X-ray images are good for viewing bones but the resolution for viewing soft tissue is often inadequate. The invention of Computed Tomography (CT) sought to address this limitation by using digital images in place of photographic plate and to manipulate the images for contrast and brightness to distinguish various types of soft tissue from each other (Ostensen, 2001). Ultrasound or ultrasonography was developed as the safer technology for viewing soft tissue and body fluids in the 1950s and 1960s. In this technique, sound waves of frequency between 3.5 MHz and 7 MHz are generated using a transducer or “probe”. Sound waves passing through human body get reflected when it passes from one type of tissue to the other. The reflected sound wave is picked by a microphone built into the same probe housing as the signal generator and a computer image of the internal tissue is created in real time. The medical professional can move the probe over the body area to see the changes in the image and also freeze the image for recording. Using ultrasound, it is possible to see images of blood flow through arteries and veins and see heart valves opening and closing. Ultrasound equipment is comparatively inexpensive and is safe as compared to X-rays. The interpretation of the ultrasound images however requires trained medical professionals and there is high risk of incorrect diagnosis (Ostensen, 2001). Ultrasound has no known side effects and is safely used even for examination of an unborn fetus. Ultrasound waves do not pass through air and are therefore not effective for examination of the stomach or the intestines. They also cannot penetrate bone and therefore are not used for areas with bone covering such as the skull. In obese patients, excess body fat sometimes makes ultrasound examination difficult as the reflected sound ...Show more

Summary

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Abstract Magnetic Resonance Imaging has emerged as an important medical diagnostics tool in the last 20 years. The procedure consists of exposing the human body to a short duration pulse of very strong magnetic field. Under the influence of this magnetic field, Hydrogen protons in the water and fat molecules in the human body which are randomly aligned orient themselves in the direction of the magnetic field and spin on their axes…
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