Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most modern imaging procedures. Imaging is based on a strong magnetic field in the “tube” in which the patient is lying, without the use of X-rays. The tube diameter of our MRI machines is much larger than in previous MRI machines at up to 70 cm, which is why these systems are referred to as “semi-open MRI scanners”. Our physicians and MTRAs attend to you with care and understanding during the examination.

Special MRI examinations

Greater certainty in breast diagnostics thanks to breast MRI

Recent studies recommend regular, supplementary MRI in high-risk patients. Particularly in dense gland tissue, suspicious changes can often be detected more clearly and thus more reliably with MRI. Breast MRI also plays an important role in the assessment of breast implants as well as surrounding gland tissue – this is possible with conventional mammography only to a limited extent.

MRI plays increasingly important role not only in clarification but also in prevention and screening. Recent studies have shown that, for some tumour types, breast MRI can find up to 50% more suspicious lesions than mammography and ultrasound. Therefore the expert association, American Cancer Society, recommends regular performance of breast MRI in high-risk patients (in addition to mammography if necessary) in its current guidelines for breast cancer. For further information about breast diagnostics, please visit the Centre of Excellence for Breast Diagnostics page.

Prostate MRI is the currently best imaging method for depicting the prostate in order to rule out or detect a tumour. MRI provides exact information about the location and spread of a tumour in a non-invasive procedure.

For further information about prostate diagnostics, screening and prostate cancer diagnostics, please visit the Centre for Prostate Diagnostics page.

Whole-body MRI (WB MRI) enables comprehensive imaging analysis of the entire body during one single examination procedure without radiation exposure.

For further information about whole-body MRI, please visit our screening examinations page.

Nowadays MR angiography is the method of choice for depicting arterial vessels. Vessels in the neck and head region as well as vessels of the remaining body can be excellently examined with MRI angiography. The very high spatial resolution of modern machines enables very good and timely detection of changes even in tiny vessels. Thanks to this technical progress, non-invasive MR angiography has taken the place of formerly necessary, risky catheter examinations in diagnostics. The only step necessary for the performance of MRI is the injection of a contrast agent into the patient’s vein, which spreads in the vessels, thus enabling vascular imaging. Examination of a body region (e.g. legs) only takes a few minutes and provides reliable results.

Specialist MRI examinations in the field of musculoskeletal imaging

In  direct arthrography, MRI or sometimes also CT examination of a joint is performed after a contrast agent has been injected into the joint. With the aid of this technology, which is indicated for special issues, primarily structures of the joint capsule and the cartilaginous parts of a joint can be assessed more accurately than in conventional MRI. This technology is used most frequently for the hip joint, the shoulder, and the wrist, sometimes also on the ankle.

The contrast agent is injected into the joint with a thin needle, about as big as one used for blood sampling, under sterile conditions and after local anaesthesia under X-ray control. Afterwards, the actual imaging is performed in the MRI machine.

The following risks are possible but very rare results of joint puncture: infection, bleeding or an allergic reaction to the contrast agent or the local anaesthetic.

Our Heimeranplatz location is equipped with a small, very powerful MRI scanner (joint scanner) for examinations of the hand/wrist and foot. During the examination, the patient sits comfortably next to the machine and only their hand or foot is inside the tunnel of the machine.

Information about the examinations

A magnetic resonance imaging examination takes approximately 15 minutes depending on the examination region and issue at hand. It is important that the patient remains quietly lying down during this period. Our friendly medical technical staff is in contact with the patient and monitors him/her at all times during the examination.

During the examination, loud yet normal and harmless banging noises occur due to quickly-alternating magnetic fields. For this reason patients wear hearing protection during the examination.

Intravenous administration of a gadolinium contrast agent is required in some cases. It enables more accurate diagnoses and conclusive examination results. Side effects of contrast administration such as an allergic reaction are very rare. For the administration of MRI contrast agents, we use only “macro-cyclical” contrast agents belonging to the group of the safest and most well tolerated MRI contrast agents at all our locations, except for special liver examinations.

Patients with medical devices such as heart pacemakers, brain pacemakers, older heart valves or certain pain pumps usually cannot be examined by MRI since risks for the patients may occur. If you have a medical device and do not know if you can have an MRI examination, please contact us. We will try to clarify this together with you.

Important: if you carry/wear a medical device, please bring the device licence with you to the examination, even if you have already had an MRI examination before. Especially if you have a heart pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator, we ask you to please mention this when requesting an appointment over the phone. We usually carry out an individual check to determine if an MRI examination can be performed. 

Pregnancy: MRI examinations should not be performed during the first 3 months of pregnancy.

Do you have a heart pacemaker or other implanted device and do not know if you can have an MRI examination or have other questions about magnetic resonance imaging?

We will be happy to advise you.

Call us on: tel.: +49 (0)89 550 59-60
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