Edinburgh Imaging

What is a MR scan?

Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was first demonstrated in the early 1970's & first used clinically in the 1980's. It is a relatively new technique which continues to be a fast developing science.

What is an MRI scan?
What is a MR scan & what is it used for?

Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging uses strong magnetic fields & radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.

A MR scan can be used to examine almost any part of the body, including the:

  • Brain & spinal cord
  • Bones & joints
  • Breasts
  • Heart & blood vessels
  • Internal organs, such as the liver, womb or prostate gland

A MR scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets.

MR is unique in that it uses a combination of high field strength magnets & radio waves, as well as the magnetic properties of hydrogen in water, to create detailed pictures.

Most MR scanners have a 1.5 tesla superconducting magnet (1.5 T) - that is 30,000 times stronger than that of the earth's magnetic field!

You lie inside a tube during the scan.

The results of a MR scan can be used to help diagnose conditions, plan treatments & assess how effective previous treatment has been.