Sometimes your MRI test results may be
different from the results of CT, ultrasound, or X-ray tests, because the MRI
scan shows tissue differently.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of
the spine can often be used instead of other tests that use
X-rays, such as a
computed tomography (CT) scan or
MRI is a safe test for
looking at structures and organs inside the body. It costs more than other
methods and may not be available in your area.
Open MRI machines
are now made so that the magnet does not completely surround you. But these
machines may not be available in all medical centers. Open MRI is useful for
people who are claustrophobic or obese.
Contrast material that contains gadolinium may cause a serious skin problem
(called nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy) in people with
kidney failure. Before having an MRI scan, tell your
doctor if you have serious kidney disease or if you have had a kidney
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2013). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 6th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine