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Evaluation and Tests - Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What is it?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging technique used to produce high quality images of the inside of the human body. A scanner emits a strong magnetic field inside the brain (or elsewhere in the body) and produce signals that are analyzed by a computer to produce detailed images.

Why do it?

MRI is not a test for peripheral neuropathy, but is performed to exclude other disorders that produce similar symptoms.

How is it performed?

Typically, the patient is placed into a tube-like cylinder (scanner) while lying on a mobile table. The patient is asked to lie very still. Usually, the fit is quite tight and sometimes claustrophobia (fear of enclosed/small places) can be a problem.

Due to the use of a magnetic field, there are patients that cannot undergo MRI. Patients with a pacemaker (or any metal implant) are not able to undergo an MRI. Some modern orthopedic implants are inert and do not react with the magnetic field of the MRI.

How will it feel?

For most people, the procedure is painless. However, sometimes claustrophobia can be a problem, and the patient is given a medication for relaxation.

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