Diagnostic Imaging: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a powerful magnet to create detailed pictures (shown on a computer screen) of areas inside the body. These 2- or 3- dimensional images can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue.

Much like CT scans, MRI can produce 3-D images of sections of the body, but MRI is sometimes more sensitive than CT scans for distinguishing soft tissues. MRI is especially useful for imaging the brain, spine, the soft tissue of joints and the inside of bones.

Fox Chase radiology experts use 2 state-of-the-art MRI units to do imaging for our patients with ease, speed and accuracy. Fox Chase is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) for both MRI units.

3.0-Tesla (3T) Whole Body MRI Unit

One of only a few in the Philadelphia region, Fox Chase's 3.0-Tesla (3T) MRI unit creates images with extreme detail and clarity revealing fine changes in body structures or functions. It has twice the strength and speed of existing MRI imaging equipment, enhancing metabolic and physiologic imaging for clinical care and research. This means excellent image quality and faster scan times.

Expert radiologists and researchers at Fox Chase also are developing imaging clinical trials using the 3T MRI. These include 1) MR spectroscopy for high-risk breast cancer patients and 2) Full body (head to toe) MRI for staging cancer.

1.5-Tesla (1.5T) MRI Unit

For physicians, this unit provides high-resolution images for interpretation; for patients, a shorter scan time. The 1.5-Tesla (1.5T) MRI complements the 3T MRI, providing high-quality images for many patient studies.

Fox Chase experts use the 1.5T MRI for routine studies as well as for dynamic contrast MRI (DCMR), studies of the abdomen and pelvis, MR colonography (colon, or large intestine), MR cholangiopancreatography (biliary and pancreatic ducts), kidney MRI, MR urography (urinary tract), prostate spectroscopy, MRI guided breast biopsies and breast MRI for high-risk patients. It also can provide magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), an MRI study of the blood vessels.


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