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Courtesy of Diane Newton, MD, and Drew Taylor,
Director of Advanced Open Imaging, Meridian, Idaho.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field
and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures that
are inside the body. During the MRI test (also called an MRI scan), you usually lie on your back on a table that is part of the MRI scanner. Your head, chest,
and arms may be held with straps to help you stay still. The table will then
slide into the space that contains the magnet.
Inside the scanner you will hear a fan and feel air moving. You may
also hear tapping or snapping noises as the MRI scans are done. It is very
important to stay completely still while the scan is being done.
An open MRI machine has a larger opening compared to a standard MRI
machine. Some have magnets that do not completely surround your body, as shown
here. But this kind of open MRI cannot do some types of MRI scans.
People who get nervous in small places (are claustrophobic) may feel
better using an open MRI machine. An open MRI machine also may be easier to use
for people who are very overweight or obese. But not all medical centers have
this kind of MRI machine.
May 16, 2011
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology
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