Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging modality that uses magnetic fields and high-frequency radio waves to create detailed images of the brain, joints, spinal cord, breasts, blood vessels and internal organs without use of ionizing radiation. MRI can be used in multiple ways to properly evaluate the area of concern. 

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Magnetresonanztomographie
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Depending on the symptoms, intravenous gadolinium (non-iodine) contrast or oral contrast may be used to gain more information. Because MRI employs very strong magnetic fields, careful screening is required to assure your safety while in the MR scanner. You will be asked detailed questions about any metal/metallic devices in your body that could be unsafe such as pacemakers, various implants, prostheses, shrapnel, etc. For patients with claustrophobia, the examination may be difficult to bear and this should be discussed with your doctor prior to the MRI examination. During an MRI scan, you will lie comfortably on a table that is moved inside a large magnet. A piece of equipment called a coil, which sends and receives the radio frequency waves used in this technology, will be placed around the area being examined. During the scan, you will hear various noises, ranging from a buzzing to a loud knocking which is completely normal. You will be offered earplugs or headphones to diminish the background noise and to allow for a comfortable experience during scanning. Our team of doctors and technologists are highly trained and prepared to assure your safety.

In our radiological imaging centers you will find state-of-the-art 1.5T and 3T equipment as well as so-called "semi-open MRIs" with gantry diameters of 70 cm for additional comfort.

Preparation prior to procedure.

No special preparation is needed, but in order to stay more relaxed during the exam, avoidance of caffeine prior to the exam is recommended.

Patients with pacemakers, cerebral aneurysm clips and internal neurostimulators cannot be scanned. Before an exam, you may be requested to change into a gown and remove all metal. If you think you may be pregnant, please inform your physician or the technologist before your exam. If you have a known contrast allergy, please contact your physician or the imaging location where you are having your exam as soon as possible.

Post-exam instructions.

You can resume normal activities right away. If you were given contrast, it will pass naturally through your body within several hours. There are no known side effects associated with this exam.

Results turn-around time.

A radiologist will interpret your exam and a radiologic report will be available to the referring physician within 48 hours.

Your well-being has the highest priority.

An MRI examination is one of the most modern imaging procedures. It provides very detailed insights into body and does not require harmful X-rays. The examination times can vary between 10 and 30 minutes. IHRE RADIOLOGEN attach particular importance to the well-being of our patients. We therefore keep the duration of the examination as short as possible and simultaneously guarantee a very high image quality. We can achieve this through our close cooperation with HQ-Imaging, an innovative company from Heidelberg and a spin-off of the German Cancer Research Center. Together with HQ Imaging, we have set up a team of radiologists, physicists and application specialists with whom we always operate our scanners at the highest scientific and technical level in order to make the examination as pleasant as possible for you.

Special MRI examinations.

In addition to the usual MRI examinations of numerous organ areas, we offer the following MRI examinations of various body regions:

  • Prostate MRI
    Multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) of the prostate is the best imaging technique to detect or rule out a clinically significant prostate tumor. Further information on the prevention and diagnosis of prostate cancer can be found on the website of our Prostate Diagnostics Competence Center.
  • MR Angiography 
    MR Angiography (MRA) is a study of the blood vessels that can be performed with or without intravenous gadolinium (non-iodine) contrast depending on the region of the suspected problem. According to your symptoms, your doctor may want an MRA to assess vascular patency or the presence of any narrowing or stenosis which could cause your symptoms, as well as look for any vascular abnormalities or malformations.
  • Cardiac MRI
    Cardiac MRI allows non-invasive examination of the heart such as inflammation (e.g. myocarditis) and changes secondary to coronary heart disease such as scars or inadequate blood supply of the heart muscle. Further information can be found on the page of our Competence Center Cardio Diagnostics.
  • Breast MRI
    Especially in high-risk patients (e.g. carrier of BRCA1 gene mutation), newer studies recommend regular supplementary MRI of the breast. Further indications are from the assessment of breast implants or the diagnosis of the spread of confirmed breast cancer. Further information can be found on the website of our Competence Center Breast Diagnostics.

Important: If you have a medical implant (cardiac pacemaker, brain pacemaker, older heart valves, pain pumps, etc.), in most cases you cannot be examined by MRI, as damage to your implant may occur. Please inform us of any implants or implanted devices when you make your appointment and be sure to bring your implant passport with you for the examination. 
If your implant is not safe for MRI, we will try to address your situation with an alternative diagnostic procedure.

Pregnancy: MRI should not be performed within the first trimester.
 

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