At Rush, we combine minimally invasive imaging with advanced MRI technologies to make sure you receive the most accurate diagnosis and comfortable experience.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging test that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to produce clear, detailed images of the structure and function of internal organs and tissues in your body.
MRI gives doctors a window into the body unavailable with X-rays and other imaging technologies.
There are a variety of different MRI tests available. These are some of the most common:
- Functional MRI for the brain: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures the small changes in blood flow that occur with brain activity.
- MRI breast imaging: The American Medical Association recently suggested that women who are known to have the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene have an MRI of the breast over a traditional mammogram.
- Cardiac MRI: An MRI of the heart is a diagnostic procedure that produces detailed images of heart structure.
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA): This is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of magnetic resonance technology (MRI) and intravenous (IV) contrast dye to visualize blood vessels.
- Magnetic resonance venography (MRV): An MRV produces detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
Who Would Benefit From an MRI?
An MRI can detect a wide range of issues, including the following:
- The extent of brain injury brought about by trauma or stroke
- Internal bleeding
- Damage of the head and neck
- Heart, aorta, coronary artery and blood vessel damage
- Lung, liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas and abdominal conditions
- Spine damage from trauma or chronic disease
- Sports injuries
Since an MRI does not involve radiation, it can also be used to examine the reproductive system, pelvis, hips and bladder.
Other Uses for MRI
Rush is also using MRI technology to help plan procedures and provide intraoperative guidance for more precise treatment like spine surgery, focused ultrasounds and cancer treatment.
Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy helps your doctor visualize the tumor with CT or MRI scans and then shapes multiple beams of radiation to fit the tumor’s size and shape. It is used to treat many different types of cancer.
What To Expect When Getting an MRI
- During an MRI, you will lie still on a sliding table which is positioned inside the MRI.
- Imaging professionals are in an adjacent room but in constant contact with you via an intercom system.
- If you have claustrophobia, you will need to be prescribed a sedative from your physician prior to the procedure to help you relax, which is not uncommon. We also have advanced MRI machines, the 3T MRI, that have a larger opening and offer greater spaciousness for those uncomfortable with tight spaces, or need more room.
- Most exams take 15 to 45 minutes, although highly detailed studies may take longer.
How Safe is an MRI?
Some patients have potential risks with an MRI, whose doctors will work closely with to access and determine the next steps:
- Women in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are advised not to have an MRI unless there is a strong medical need.
- People with metal implants or pacemakers will require additional screening to determine if MRI is the appropriate examination.
If you are at-risk, our experts will work with you to determine the next steps that enable you to get the care you need while ensuring your safety.
Rush Excellence in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Leaders in treatment: You will be cared for by an expert team of radiologists whose MRI services are accredited by the American College of Radiology. This accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety.
- Maximum patient comfort: Rush University Medical Center and Rush Copley Medical Center both use an MRI machine that is more spacious for patients who are claustrophobic or need more room. The new MAGNETOM Verio 3T MRI scanner also has the strongest magnet field strength for greater accuracy in imaging.
- Convenient care close to home: Waiting for testing and a diagnosis can be stressful, so we make our MRI testing as convenient as possible for you with locations in Chicago, the South Loop, Oak Park, Munster, Naperville, Yorkville, Westchester and Aurora/Fox Valley.