MRI's Magnetic Resonance Imaging Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1259 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Chemistry

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However, some people must take some kind of sedation in order to cope with the MRI environment, which in addition to being a very confining space, is quite noisy. The noise is also unsettling to some patients.

A more serious risk is that the patient's body may contain some undisclosed metal object that responds to magnetism (Gould, DATE). The magnetic field of an operating MRI machine is quite intense and can force heavy metal objects out of a person's hands if standing near the machine. For instance, a metal fragment in the eye from an old injury can be moved by the magnetic field and cause serious damage to the person's eye. People with pacemakers must stay far away from MRI equipment, because the equipment can completely disrupt the pacemaker or even cause the person to die (Gould, DATE). Because of this risk, patients must be screened very carefully regarding metal that might be present in their bodies for some reason.

However, there are no known hazards to people from the process of having an MRI performed. In spite of that, erring on the side of caution, MRI's are rarely performed on pregnant women (Gould, DATE) although some recent developments in the use of MRI's may provide important new ways to image high-risk fetuses (Wikipedia, 2005).

Specialized MRI's

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Several variants of the MRI have been developed since the invention of the first machine. One is called a Diffusion MRI. The diffusion MRI relies on the fact that water within cells tends to be anisotropic and unlikely to move out of the cell. The diffusion MRI allows the machine to image such things as neurons, because the water in the neuron tends to not cross the myelin membrane covering the neuron. Capitalizing on the predicted action of water molecules within tissue has allowed the development of MRI for use in diagnosis of strokes, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis (Wikipedia, 2005).

Term Paper on MRI's Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or Assignment

Other MRI's have been developed that can accurately image arteries, helping with the diagnosis of stenosis, or narrowing of arteries, as well as aneurisms, or balloon-like stretches in artery walls (Wikipedia, 2005).

Another dramatic development has been the ƒMRI, or functional MRI. The functional MRI can make images of the brain as it works by measuring neuron activity (Wikipedia, 2005). It can do this because the parts of the brain that are more active demand more oxygen. The ƒMRI uses magnetic fields to measure increases and decreases of oxygen levels in the hemoglobin of the patient's blood, thus mapping brain activity through time (Wikipedia, 2005).

One of the most recent developments in MRI technology has been that of weight-bearing images. Until this approach was developed, all MRI's were done with the patient lying flat on a table. Now, MRI's can be performed with the patient in a variety of other positions, including standing or bent in various ways (Wendling, 2005). The new positions can reveal problems that were hidden when doing a prone MRI.

MRI's have particular value in helping manage some dynamic illnesses. For instance, the MRI can be adjusted to precisely pinpoint tumors before x-ray therapy is begun, so the x-rays can be aimed as precisely as possible at the cancerous tissue while minimizing both damage and exposure to healthy tissue (Wikipedia, 2005).

SOURCES:

Gould, Todd A., RT-(R)(MR)(ARRT) "How MRI Works," in How Stuff Works. Accessed via the Internet 10/11/05.

Nordenberg, Tamar. 1999. "The picture of health." FDA Consumer 33:1, p. 8.

Tro, Nivaldo J. Introductory Chemistry Essentials, Sec. Ed. Upper Saddle Creek, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall: 2006.

Wendling, Patrice. 2005. "Stand-up MRI can make pathology stand out: applications range from the musculoskeletal to the cardiovascular, but interpreting images is tough." Internal Medicine News, February.

Wikipedia. 2005. "Magnetic resonance imaging." Wikipedia… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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