Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe, painless test that uses radio waves and energy from strong magnets to create detailed images of the body. A cervical MRI scans the soft tissues of the neck and the cervical spine. The cervical spine is the portion of the spine that runs through the neck.
A cervical spine MRI is used to help diagnose:
Preparation for a MRI Cervical Spine?
The MRI technician should be informed if you have any inner ear implants, artificial joints, a defibrillator or pacemaker, particular types of heart valves, vascular stents, brain aneurysm clips.
The staff will ask you to remove anything that contains metal, including jewelry, sunglasses or any electronic gadgets. All these interferes with the MRI machine’s ability to produce a clear image. Braces and dental fillings will typically not pose a problem, but pens, pins, and certain dental appliances can interfere.
In the case of implants and pacemakers, those items can stop working properly due to an MRI’s magnetic field.
You will be asked to wear a hospital gown or clothing that doesn’t contain metal fasteners.
Lastly if you’re pregnant , kindly inform the staff, the doctor may postponed the test if required.
Procedure for MRI cervical spine?
During the exam, you will asked to stay still to obtain the clearest images.You’ll lie down on a table that’s attached to the MRI machine. Your head will be on a headrest and your arms will be at your sides. A coil will be placed over your head and neck. The MRI technician will also place a signaling device in your hand. You can use it to call for help while the test is running, if you need it.
Once you’re properly positioned, the table will slide into the machine. The MRI technician will be able to see you through a window in an adjoining room. They’ll give you periodic updates on the scan’s progress.The scanning will be loud in nature and these banging noises are normal with the machine. There is no need of worrying or fear. You can also ask for ear plug if noise is more than bearable limits.
Cervical MRI scans typically take 15 to 30 minutes. You may receive an intravenous injection of a Gadolinium containing contrast solution, to allow the MRI machine to highlight the cord and soft tissue structures in cervical spine more easily, particularly your blood vessels.
There are no risks associated with the MRI itself. There is a very slight chance that you will have an allergic reaction to a contrast solution. Tell the medical staff if you have decreased kidney function; it may not be safe to use contrast solution if this is the case.
Once the images are produced, A radiologist will analyze your MRI images and your results will be available