Harm and contraindications MRI of the spine

In modern medicine, in establishing an accurate diagnosis of the disease and the development of an effective programme of treatment often requires data on the status of internal tissues, organs and systems.

When lesions of the spine the full picture down to the smallest detail allows to obtain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this article, we will discuss the advantages, harms and contraindications MRI of the spine.

What is MRI of the spine

MRI imaging method of obtaining images of internal organs based on the phenomenon called nuclear magnetic resonance. In Hotwire a constant magnetic field, a combination of atomic nuclei causes the electromagnetic wave. The measurement of these waves allows to obtain data about the changes taking place in the body. Element on the basis of which research is conducted, is hydrogen.

This method involves the use of special equipment – MRI machine. It is a movable table for the patient and the circuit, in which are located the magnets. Connected to the apparatus data acquisition system converts the received signal into a digital code that is displayed on the computer in the form of an image. Specialist prints out the obtained image and based on it is description of the state of the test body, which is given to the patient with the MRI.

MRI machines come in two types – open and closed. The outdoor unit magnets are on top and bottom of the table to the left and to the right of the patient to open space.

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An indoor unit is executed in the form of a pipe, a table rolled inside her and the patient in the study is in an enclosed space. Closed MRI scanners have a higher capacity, so the images obtained on such equipment, are of higher quality.

MRI of the spine is recommended in high field closed scanners. How often to do MRI of the spine, decided by the doctor depending on the patient’s condition and need.

This study allows to identify and clearly study:

  • arthrosis of the joints;
  • congenital anomalies;
  • tumors, infections and inflammations of the soft tissues;
  • the condition and anatomy of the vertebrae;
  • the condition of the intervertebral discs;
  • the place of injury.

MRI study in some cases may be performed with contrast material, the location of which allows to obtain a more complete picture of the condition of the spine. Negative effects of MRI is not detected after the test, the patient does not feel discomfort.

The advantages and disadvantages of MRI

Data on the state of the human body can be obtained in various ways.

The most common are:

  • ultrasonography (us);
  • radiography;
  • computed tomography;
  • magnetic resonance imaging.

The use of a particular method is assigned in strict accordance with the data that you want to, human health and other factors. MRI in this case – the most accurate method.

It has a number of advantages:

  • has a painless and high precision;
  • is not invasive, i.e. does not cause the body harm from external influences, including using radiation;
  • gives a picture of the gaps of the blood vessels and sections of the nerve roots;
  • provides the ability to measure the absolute temperature of tissues of the spine.

The use of MRI has some limitations:

  • the study is accompanied by a sound effect, so the patient should use earplugs or headphones;
  • the process requires complete immobility, which is especially difficult for pediatric patients;
  • a closed space can cause bouts of claustrophobia;
  • the diameter of the tunnel cannot accommodate the man with the girth of the widest point more than 160 cm.

The doctor prescribes examination with the MRI machine, given all its pros and cons.


  Виды лосося. Лосось представляет собой громадный отряд особой породы рыбы, которая особняком стоит от другой массы рыбного царства.


Despite its advantages and rather minor weaknesses, there are contraindications for MRI of the spine. They can be absolute and relative. At the absolute contraindications imaging is strictly prohibited. Harmful if MRI of the spine with relative contraindications, the doctor will decide, after having carefully examined the condition of the patient and characteristics of the disease.

MRI of the spine cannot be assigned:

  • If the body of pacemakers, ferromagnetic clips, tissue expanders, metal fragments, artificial joints, implants of the inner ear.
  • Pregnant women during the first trimester of fetal development and the whole period when MRI contrast material.
  • Women wearing intrauterine contraceptive coils, containing in its composition of iron.

In addition, doctors do not take responsibility of patients in a state of narcotic or alcoholic intoxication.

The presence in the body of the patient such metals as tantalum and titanium, in the process of research is not affected.

As a relative contra-indications can nominate the following:

  • The patient is in a critical condition.
  • The patient has claustrophobia, schizophrenia or other mental disorders.
  • Tattoos, painted with metallic components may cause burns.
  • The patient can not keep still for the required period of time.

The MRI procedure is quite expensive, for some patients it can also be an obstacle.

Is it harmful to do MRI spine with contrast material if the patient has renal failure or chronic intolerance to the components, the specialist doctor decides on the basis of the analyses. But mostly in these cases, MRI is not recommended.

In the absence of contraindications and the need for multiple repeated studies doctor determines how often you can do an MRI of the spine.

Myths and reality

Over time the MRI procedure became overgrown with myths. Due to the fact that it is assigned rarely, people from fear of the unknown, try using rumors to fill the information gaps.

For example, some believe that the frequent MRI scanning of the spine is unhealthy. But this procedure is absolutely safe if all the rules and instructions of physician. MRI is not assigned often just because it has a fairly high cost, and in many cases, you can do x-rays.

It happens that a woman needs to do an MRI of the spine at the monthly. She may have doubts, can you do an MRI in this case. When scanning the patient’s body is completely inside the MRI scanner. But the magnetic field does not affect the state of her reproductive organs. In the psychological aspect of discomfort may occur during the long immobility due to nervousness during menstruation.

Talk with your doctor, in this case it is possible to take any sedative. In relation to women’s health procedure MRI of the spine when menstruation is completely safe.Also, in many cases, cases with back pain of different nature can do only x-rays. Therefore, the view that any back pain necessary procedure MRI has no basis.

Thus, MRI of the spine has its advantages and disadvantages, but in the case of a prescription in the absence of contraindications it should be done. MRI scanning with high accuracy will show all changes in the tissues and joints of the spine and will help to promptly plan or adjust the treatment program.

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