MRI of the thoracic spine

It is the spine is the part of the skeleton, which constantly has a maximum load, and it manifests even during normal walking. As practice shows, almost most people have various injuries and pathologies of the spinal column, which in the absence of timely treatment can cause serious complications.

Very important role is the timely detection of problems, after all, the sooner treated properly, the bigger chance the patient has of a successful recovery. One of the best and most informative methods of diagnostics today is MRI of the thoracic spine, which gives a clear picture showing all the changes in the blood vessels, muscles, bone tissues and cartilage. Well, try to understand how the procedure MRI of the thoracic spine, and why it is at all possible.

Why are MRI

In the thoracic ribs unite with the vertebrae and sternum. Despite the fact that this part is relatively sheltered and less exposed to various injuries, many people today complain of painful sensations in this area. To all this may happen due to simple degeneration of the connective tissue or, for example, due to the weakening of the discs. In addition, the wrong distribution of physical load and continuous weight lifting is often a factor that triggers the onset of osteoarthritis.

Problems in the thoracic spine can also lead to pain in the region of the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas. After the MRI we will see what exactly excites similar ailments. If the procedure does not give a clear picture, the technician can also assign additional examination bodies, for example, a cardiogram.

What it shows

As you know, this event is held with the aim of identifying information about the condition of hard and soft tissues of the thoracic. If to speak more specifically, the MRI shows:

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  • changes in the discs or vertebrae;
  • congenital abnormalities of the spine;
  • damage to the spinal column;
  • abnormalities of the spinal cord;
  • the appearance of tumors in the chest Department;
  • a hernia vertebral discs;
  • incorrect anatomical location of the vertebrae;
  • deformation of the spinal column;
  • the reduction or narrowing of the canal of the spinal cord;
  • problems with blood vessels of the spinal cord and cerebral hemorrhage;
  • pathology of the spine, provoked by different viruses and infections.

Now you know what will MRI of the thoracic spine. It is worth noting that if you’re feeling pain in this area, you should not delay with the visit to the doctor, because early detection of pathology will greatly reduce the risk of developing complications.

When it is usually prescribed

MRI of the thoracic spine is done in a variety of cases, but in General, the indications for its implementation are:

  • the occurrence of acute encircling pain in the chest area (especially at night);
  • discomfort somewhere in the area between the shoulder blades;
  • stiffness and limited movement in the chest area;
  • numbness;
  • pain after certain physical activities;
  • the discomfort in the liver area.

By the way, very often these symptoms are accompanied by osteochondrosis of the thoracic, which often masquerades as other diseases of the internal organs. And because this disease can be easily confused with other pathologies, sometimes even experienced professionals are unable to identify it. That’s what most often confuse osteochondrosis:

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  • appendicitis;
  • gastritis;
  • ulcer of the stomach;
  • cramps in the kidneys;
  • cholecystitis;
  • angina;
  • a heart attack.

If the doctors are not sure of the diagnosis, the patient is usually assigned additional tests, most often the passage of x-rays.

Preparation for the procedure

Many patients who had received the event well, should there be some kind of preparation for MRI of the thoracic spine.

Because the procedure is performed under the action of the device, emitting a strong magnetic field, before the examination you must:

  1. remove all metal jewelry and objects;
  2. to remove the device which can cause failures in the operation of the apparatus (e.g., a mobile phone or a hearing aid);
  3. abandon eating for 5 hours before the procedure.

As can be seen, the restrictions are not that complex, but keep in mind, if you break them, then MRI might be showing incorrect data which will lead to misdiagnosis.

How’s it going

Do you know how the procedure MRI of the thoracic spine and how long is this event? Immediately it should be said that this procedure is completely painless and usually takes no more than 20 minutes (if all is conducted with the use of contrasts, the duration can be increased 2 times).

Here’s how to do MRI thoracic:

  • the client will need to undress to their underwear and change into a special one-off shirt issued in any clinic;
  • after that, the patient needs to lie on a special sliding table and take a comfortable position (on your back). Order an MRI of neck and spine was carried out properly, the doctor will record the patient in this position with the help of special belts. Note that during the procedure you do not want to move, the only way the diagnosis is correct;
  • then, using a special mechanism, the table is rolled back into the tunnel, and over the chest of the patient (at a comfortable distance) hangs the device that conducts the study;
  • all you need to relax and to lie still;
  • in extreme cases (for example, claustrophobia), the client can always contact the operator.

Since the machines are relatively quiet, MRI of the spine thoracic most people passes with ease, without any obstacles. After a few minutes after the procedure, the monitor displays an image in which it will be possible to determine with which specific illness faced by the patient.


Unfortunately, some good as MRI in some cases to make it strictly contraindicated, as it may harm the client state. When from such studies should be abandoned:

  • as in MRI a person is exposed to a magnetic field, the presence in the body of iron (e.g., a pacemaker, a variety of implants and metal crowns) is a strong contraindication;
  • if the client is unable long time lie without movement;
  • if the weight exceeds 130 pounds. In this case, the examination should be held in a special apparatus designed specifically for people who have excess body weight;
  • if you have a panic when in a confined space.

Also, this procedure is not carried out in children under 7 years of age because they usually can’t control themselves and still moving, which leads to misdiagnosis. By the way, in an emergency, if a person worries too much and can’t lie without movement, and to carry out the procedure it is extremely necessary, he can administer a sedative drug.

As for studies using contrast agents, it is not carried out:

  1. during pregnancy and the lactation period;
  2. in the presence of kidney disease;
  3. in the case of individual intolerance to contrast agents or if the body improperly responds to it.

We found out how to do an MRI, what should be the preparation for an MRI of the thoracic spine. Remember, how timely is the treatment depends very much, therefore if you periodically experience discomfort and pain in this area, don’t hesitate and make an appointment as soon as possible to the survey.

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