Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Abdomen
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test done with a large machine that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the belly. In many cases MRI gives information about structures in the body that cannot be seen as well with an Reference X-ray Opens New Window, Reference ultrasound Opens New Window, or Reference CT scan Opens New Window.
For an MRI test, you are placed inside the magnet so that your belly is inside the strong magnetic field. MRI can find changes in the structure of organs or other tissues. It also can find tissue damage or disease, such as infection or a tumor. Pictures from an MRI scan are digital images that can be saved and stored on a computer for further study. The images also can be reviewed remotely, such as in a clinic or an operating room. Photographs or films of selected pictures can also be made.
In some cases, Reference contrast material Opens New Window may be used during the MRI scan to show certain structures more clearly in the pictures. The contrast material may be used to check blood flow, find some types of tumors, and show areas of inflammation or infection.
Although MRI is a safe and valuable test for looking at structures and organs inside the body, it is more expensive than other imaging methods and may not be available in all medical centers.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 9, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Paul D. Traughber, MD - Diagnostic Radiology