MRI is a very effective method of hardware diagnostics, allowing to explore the human body, including the spine. With the help of magnetic resonance imaging, it is possible to make a diagnosis as all the vertebrae, and its specific departments (thoracic, cervical, lumbar, lumbosacral).
MRI of the thoracic spine helps to diagnose the fluid accumulation, infections and tumors in these structures. It may also include some parts of the heart and lungs.
But for a more accurate diagnosis it is better to conduct cardiac MRI separately.
Indications for magnetic resonance imaging of the spine
1. Injury in the spine and / or spinal cord
- detection and evaluation of post-traumatic deformations and changes in the spine and spinal cord;
- the presence of the vertebral or spinal injuries;
- revealing bruises and hemorrhages in the spinal cord.
2. Inflammation in the spine or spinal cord
- identification of spondylitis and epiduritis.
3. Malformations and anomalies of the spinal cord.
4. Intramedullary disease.
5. Tumours in the spine or spinal cord:
- detection and evaluation of tumors in the brain and spinal cord membranes;
- identification and evaluation of tumors in the bone structure of the spine;
- detection of metastases.
6. Degenerative-dystrophic diseases:
- Diagnosis of hernia and disc protrusion;
- Diagnosis of spinal stenosis and assessment of its prevalence;
- Evaluation of the degree of spinal cord compression and epidural bag.
7. Vascular diseases;
- detection of malformations in the arteries and veins;
- identification of spinal stroke
8. Monitoring the effectiveness of the treatment in the presence of disease or injury.
During the MRI of the spine even the slightest changes in the soft tissues and bone are equally well shown. The pictures have information on the intervertebral discs, spinal cord, etc. X-ray or ultrasound will not give such a result.
Contraindications for MRI of the spine
Although the procedure is safe, but nevertheless, there are contraindications:
- The presence in the body of electronic and metal and electronic items (implants, piercings, pacemakers);
- Patient weight greater than 100 kg;
- Inability to lie still for a long time;
- Early pregnancy. Pregnancy is not a strict contraindication, but doctors recommend to postpone the MRI of the spine in the early stages.