When it comes to diagnosing a disease, a doctor relies on multiple factors apart from close physical examination of the patient which is unarguably an important and essential element.  Depending on the nature of disease, the physician may advise the patient to give sample of his blood, urine or body issue.  Lab analysis and report from these samples carry great deal of information about the nature of disease the patient is suffering from.  Sometimes the doctor may require additional information in the form of images of patient’s anatomy or physiology.  An MRI scanner comes to the rescue in this situation by providing clear images of patient’s anatomy.  The only alternative for doctor is to cut open and examine the internal structure of the patient to diagnose the disease if MRI scanners were to be unavailable. So, let’s take a deep dive into MRI Scanner, their functioning and some of the companies that manufacture them.

MRI scanner or Magnetic resonance imaging use strong magnetic fields with the help of which they generate body internal images.  MRI scan images are far superior of quality when compared to X-ray images.  However, there are certain risks associated with MRI scanners. They make noise and they take more time to yield the image.  Also, they require the patient to go into a cylindrical vessel  for extracting the image.  People who are claustrophobic may feel more than a certain degree of discomfort with MRI scanners.  MRI cannot be performed on people who have metal implants in their body as they create strong magnetic fields to capture and generate body image.  In clinical MRI, hydrogen atoms are often used to generate a detectable radio-frequency signal.  Based on the relaxation properties of hydrogen atoms, different contrasts are generated and an image is made out of it.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or MRI scanner

MRI Scanner is a boon when it comes to research in the medical field.  Multiple specialties including Neurology, Ortho, cardiology and gastroenterology widely use MRI scans to determine and diagnose the disease.  It is the modality of choice in any neurological diagnosis, including cancer.  The images provided by MRI scan in diseases such as dementia, central nervous system related medical conditions are conclusive.  In cardiology, iron overload and congenital heart disease are some of the many medical conditions where doctors rely on MRI images while diagnosing the disease. Back pain condition is also best diagnosed by an MRI Scan.

The uses of MRI scanner are so critical and innumerable, there is altogether a specialization in medical field that is dedicated to MRI scanning and imaging.  MRI Medical Director/Research Director (MRMD) is a supervising physician who has overall responsibility in a clinic for the safe use of MRI equipment.  As detailed in the beginning, various techniques of scan are used to address the different needs of multiple organ specialties.

Diffusion MRI:

Clinically diffusion MRI is used in neurological diseases such as stroke.  It measures the diffusion of water molecules in tissues.

Magnetic Resonance Angiography

It helps generate pictures of arteries to evaluate them for wall dilations.  This technique is often used to evaluate the arteries of neck and brain.

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy :

This technique is used to measure the levels of various metabolites in body tissue.  Tremendously useful in diagnosing metabolic disorders especially the ones that affect the brain.

Functional MRI :

This technique measures signal change in the brain that occurs due to alterations in neural activity.

Now that we have reviewed enough information about the various types of MRI scanning techniques and their practical uses.  Let us quickly take a look at the major players in MRI scanner manufacture and what they have to offer.

The top MRI manufacturers are GE, Philips, Siemens,( called GPS)  Hitachi and Basda , to name a few.

  • GPS brands cover more than 80% of the world market . An upcoming brand is Basda, which is low cost and offers excellent value for money . This is exclusively available thru Medventura.
  • Each manufacturer has some USP and some drawbacks. The medical Equipment buyer has to strike a balance between the same .
  • MRI Service in now easily available in India , as well as MRI parts are available with many vendors .

Conclusion:  All in all, MRI scanner is a great tool that a doctor is totally dependent on in determining and diagnosing the medical conditions.