The MRI of the spine does not cause discomfort to the patient. The only need is a strictly fixed horizontal position for the entire period of the procedure. Sometimes especially sensitive patients are advised to take a sedative before testing.
In addition, the MRI is associated with a significant noise effect, so the patient can offer special earplugs.
After preparation, the researcher is placed on the equipped bed, which is then pushed into the capsule-tube. In the capsule, the magnetic plates are contoured, along which the bed with the patient moves. During the session, the device produces the required number of images - tomograms.
At the end of the study, a person can go about his business - home or work.
How long does the MRI of the spine?
The MRI procedure itself lasts approximately 40 minutes, sometimes a little more or less. A snapshot of the MRI of the spine with a transcript can be ready within an hour: it is given to the patient on hand, or sent to the treating doctor.
MRI of the lumbosacral spine
MRI of the lumbar spine is considered more in demand for the diagnosis of diseases associated with degenerative and dystrophic disorders. It is usually carried out in the following cases:
- with osteochondrosis;
- with protrusions and hernias;
- traumatic injury;
- with developmental defects;
- with primary and secondary tumors of the lumbar region.
To clarify any of these problems, a neurologist can appoint an MRI of the lumbosacral department. The images are taken in several projections in the affected area, more often transversely and sagittally. The most optimal cut size is from 3 to 4 millimeters without gaps. A photograph of T² with the smallest thickness of the gap is transverse. The cut must be angled relative to the location of the vertebrae.
Often MRI of the sacral spine is performed using contrast - a special substance that is administered intravenously. MRI of the spine with contrast allows you to visualize the features of blood circulation and the fullness of blood vessels.
MRI of the cervico-thoracic spine
MRI of the cervical and thoracic departments is considered one of the most sought-after procedures in the diagnosis of spine diseases. The fact is that the damage to the vertebral discs and the consequences of osteochondrosis in these areas are relatively common. In some cases, the presence of small hernias and osteophytes that occur asymptomatically can be determined.
MRI of the cervical spine often consists of T2 images, which are performed sagittally and axially with an ordinary 3 mm cut thickness. This type of research is relevant:
- for the diagnosis of osteochondrosis;
- with developmental defects in the cervical region;
- for the diagnosis of hernias and protrusions;
- at traumas and tumoral processes.
MRI of the thoracic spine is often performed in conjunction with the study of the neck area, since in many cases the pathologies of these departments are interrelated.
In severe and multiple back injuries, with numerous tumor metastases, the doctor can prescribe MRI of all parts of the spine at the same time. This procedure requires a lot of time and patience, as well as significant financial costs, and this must be prepared.
MRI with metastases in the spine
With the spread of metastases to the spine, MRI is the main method for diagnosis. Metastasis is detected as pathological inclusions that destroy the body of the vertebrae.
Most often, tumor particles are spread from such tumors as lymphoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, myeloma, and breast carcinoma.
The MRI procedure will determine the location, size, quantity and characteristics of secondary tumors.