Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test used to diagnose medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone, and virtually all other internal body structures. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays/CT).
Contrast dye is ordered to be used during some MRIs, depending on what the physician wants to see or diagnose. MRI contrast dye is different from Xray/CT dye in that it does not contain Iodine/Shellfish derivatives that many people are allergic to. We use a diluted form of gadolinium injected intravenously into the patient’s arm or back of hand.
Contrast is generally used for improving the diagnostic accuracy of an MRI scan when it comes to looking at softer tissues, inflammation, tumor/mass, blood flow, etc. The dye works by altering the tissue's local magnetic field so normal and abnormal tissues respond differently, giving different signals. Side effects from MRI contrast are rare.
A spine MRI is a medical imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the spine and allows doctors to see the bones, discs, and nerves in the back. Spine MRIs can help diagnose many conditions, such as scoliosis, spinal tumors, degenerative disc disease, and compression fractures.
An MRI of a section of your spine may be ordered when there are spinal cord or nerve problems such as pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or other neurological symptoms. It can also show if there's any damage to the vertebrae or discs due to diseases like osteoarthritis. The goal of an MR scan is not only to diagnose what condition you might have but also how severe it is and where it might be located.