What Types of MRI Scans Are Most Common?

We write a lot about MRI scans in general on this blog, but in fact, there are at least half a dozen common diagnostic procedures that use magnetic resonance imaging to give doctors an idea what’s going on inside a patient’s body.

So if your doctor orders any of the following scans, rest assured that these procedures share the safety, accuracy, and affordability (with the right health care provider) that we associate with the broader term “MRI:”

  1. MRI of the Body  This is the exam that you probably think of when you imagine an MRI. The patient enters the scanner bore, whether it’s open or closed, and technologists operate the machine to create images of the chest or abdomen.Doctors may order an MRI of the body if they suspect heart conditions, liver disease, or disorders of the bowel. Sometimes, doctors will order an abdominal MRI to study the development of a pregnant woman’s fetus.
  2. fMRI  Functional magnetic resonance imaging has changed the face of brain research. This exam uses a magnetic field and blasts of radio waves, just like any other MRI, but it’s specially calibrated to measure metabolic changes in the brain.By measuring tiny oxygen increases and other metabolic signs, researchers can associate a particular part of the brain with a given activity. This allows them to construct a “brain map” that helps surgeons avoid damaging crucial areas.
  3. Cardiac MRI  MRI images of the heart reveal the workings of one of our most important organs. Doctors use cardiac MRI exams to see how the chambers, valves, and vessels of the heart are doing. They might order this procedure if they suspect a tumor, or to track the progress of heart disease.Cardiac MRI scans, like all magnetic resonance imaging, is completely free of ionizing radiation.
  4. Breast MRI  The American Cancer Society recommends that women have yearly mammograms between the ages of 45 and 54, possibly starting as early as age 40. Women with a high risk of breast cancer, however, should take extra precautions, according to the ACS.In addition to the yearly mammogram, the ACS recommends an annual breast MRI. Alone, breast MRI scans can miss some signs of cancer. However, they can also pick up indications that a regular mammogram might miss. The most comprehensive screening involves both modalities.Doctors might also order breast MRIs for women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer, to monitor tumors, or to watch for a spread to the other breast.
  5. MR Angiography, or MRA  Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) uses MRI technology to create detailed images of the body’s major blood vessels. Your doctor might order an MRA exam to check for atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in blood vessels.A more specialized version of MRA, magnetic resonance venography (MRV), takes images of veins rather than arteries.

Finding the Best Price for Any Type of MRI Exam

Your doctor will order the type of MRI exam that addresses your medical condition. After you get the referral, though, you do have your choice of providers.

You can opt to pay a low cash price, even if you have health insurance. No matter what type of MRI you need, call BestPriceMRI.com at 888-322-7785 for truly affordable diagnostic imaging today.

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