Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Here at Cave Veterinary Specialists, we have an on-site, veterinary specific (Hallmarq PetVet), high field MRI scanner available 24/7 for imaging patients with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. It is one of the most advanced imaging modalities for the nervous system, providing millimetre thick cross-sectional images of the brain and spinal cord. MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan and where appropriate may also show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.
Pictures from the MRI scan are digital images that can be saved and stored on a computer for more in-depth analysis and study. To further enhance images a special MRI contrast can be administered to a patient during the MRI scan to show or enhance certain structures more clearly for a more accurate diagnosis.
WHY IS MRI PERFORMED?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is performed for many reasons, that may include detecting problems such as tumours, bleeding, injury, blood vessel diseases, or infection. MRI also may be carried out to provide more detailed information about a problem seen on an X-ray, ultrasound scan, or CT scan.
An MRI scan can be carried out to acquire images of the:
- Head - MRI can look at the brain for tumours, an aneurysm, bleeding in the brain, nerve injury, and other problems, such as damage caused by a stroke. MRI can also find problems of the eyes and optic nerves, and the ears and auditory nerves.
- Spine - MRI can inspect the discs and nerves of the spine for conditions such as spinal stenosis, disc bulges, and spinal tumours.
- Abdomen and pelvis - MRI can find problems in the organs and structures in the belly, such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys and bladder. It can also be used to find tumours, bleeding, infection, and blockage.
- Bones and joints - MRI can check for problems of the bones and joints, such as arthritis, problems with the temporomandibular joint, bone marrow problems, bone tumours, cartilage problems, torn ligaments or tendons, or infection.