01285 323677

COTSWOLD DIAGNOSTIC CLINIC

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Cotswold Diagnostic Clinic Specialist Local Musculoskeletal Radiology Reporting Service MRI of Orthopaedic, Spinal, Rheumatological & Sports Conditions
MRI Scan Information

A MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan uses a strong magnetic field to produce high quality images of the internal structure of your body.

For further information click on this link: Cobalt MRI Information

MRI SCAN SAFETY INFORMATION

MRI scans are painless and one of the safest medical procedures currently available, as there is no radiation exposure.  There are no known harmful effects from the magnetic field.

 

However, patients who may have any metallic material within their body must notify their doctor and the radiographers before the scan.  Metallic materials can significantly distort the images obtained by the MRI scanner, and any loose metal object may cause damage or injury if it gets pulled rapidly toward the strong magnet.

PLEASE CONTACT COBALT HEALTH BEFORE COMING FOR YOUR MRI SCAN IF YOU HAVE, OR HAVE HAD ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • A neurostimulator anywhere in your head or body.
  • A pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator.
  • An artificial heart valve, arterial clips, a cochlear implant, or aneurysm clips.
  • A programmable shunt for hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain).
  • Insulin or chemotherapy pumps.
  • Metal fragments in the eye, head or body (you will likely need an x-ray BEFORE the scan).
DURING YOUR MRI SCAN APPOINTMENT

It takes 20-30 minutes per body part, which usually includes 4 sections lasting 4-5 minutes each. 

You will also need to remove all metal items, including jewellery, watches, hair clips and credit cards. 

Your clothes and personal items will be kept in a secure place.  If you need to change there is a changing area available.

During the scan you will lie on a bed, which will move into the scanner either head first or feet first, depending on the type of scan.  You are given headphones for listening to music, and to reduce the noise from the scanner.  You can also hear instructions from the MRI radiographer, who will keep an eye on you and you can contact them too using a buzzer if needed. 

 

Sometimes the scanner can feel enclosed, but now more spacious “open” and “wide bore” MRI scanners are available, with ambient themes viewed from a mirror above.  Sometimes patients prefer “wide bore” scanners, as there is more space above your head.  Relaxation and stress relief techniques can also work well, and mild sedation is also available if needed. 
MRI SCAN CATEGORIES EXPLAINED
1 part MRI scan = shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, leg, knee, ankle, foot, cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, SI joints, or brain
2 part MRI scan = both shoulders, both knees, both ankles, cervical & thoracic spine, thoracic & lumbar spine, or lumbar spine with pelvis
3 part MRI scan = Whole Spine, or Thoracic & Lumbar Spine with Pelvis or SI joints
MRI SCREENING SCAN FOR MMA FIGHTERS AND OTHER CONTACT SPORTS

MRI scan of Brain with MRA scan of Brain and Neck - special protocol for MMA competitors and other contact sports - this usually takes 45 minutes.
MRA scan of neck also available for MMA competitors and other contact sports (if you have already had a MRI Brain scan and MRA Brain)

INTERESTING FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT MRI SCANS

In 1937 nuclear magnetic resonance was discovered and this phenomenon was developed into magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 1971.  The first MRI scanner was built in 1977, with rapid improvements in the imaging of soft tissues than previously seen with x-rays.


In 1882, Nikola Tesla discovered the rotating magnetic field, and his name is used to calibrate its strength.  A stronger magnetic field increases the number of radio signals emitted from atoms in the body.  Most MRI scanners use a 1.5 Tesla strength magnet, but now some use 3 Tesla magnets, which can give higher quality images or reduce scanning times.   Cobalt Health operates the only 3 Tesla mobile MRI scanner in Europe.

 

The magnetic field of a MRI scanner is up to 4000 times stronger than the earth’s magnetic field.  Using liquid helium, the magnet is cooled close to absolute zero, to enable superconducting.  At this temperature, the MRI scanner will always be working, but in an emergency, the liquid helium can be released, turning off the magnetic field within a few seconds.  This “quench” is a big deal, as the scanner will be off line for a week or more, the magnet can be damaged, and it will cost at least £30,000 to replace the liquid helium.

 

Every year about 20 million patients now get a MRI scan, and over 1 billion MRI scans have been performed in total since the 1970s.


Recent developments include:

  • Functional MRI, which can be used to show the location of mental processes in the brain, and how the brain responds to outside events.
  • Smaller more portable MRI scanners are in development, mostly for imaging the limbs.
  • Multiband imaging is also in development, which significantly reduces scanning times.
COTSWOLD DIAGNOSTIC CLINIC CONTACT Tel: 01285 323677
Email: [email protected]

Registered address for correspondence: 80 Chesterton Lane, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 1YD
Ultrasound Scan Clinics in Cirencester at Active Therapy Clinic and Dyer St Chiropractic
Locations covered: Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Swindon, Witney and Oxford