Chest MRI examination
The chest MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) examination can be used to examine the shape – morphology of the heart and the function of the blood vessels in the heart – coronaries – and to diagnose chest wall abnormalities (assessment of tumour formulas), lung tumours affecting the oesophagus and blood vessels, and oesophageal diseases.
In many cases, it is used with a chest CT scan to make the most accurate diagnosis possible.
The magnetic field generated by the MRI device converts the energy changes in the body into a high-resolution, three-dimensional image by a high-performance computer. At Medicover Diagnostic Center, we use equipment that works with a closed but extremely short tube, it is 10 centimetres wider than average, its diameter is 70, thus helping reduce the feeling of confinement.
What types of diseases can a chest MRI scan help diagnose?
Your doctor may usually request a chest MRI scan as an additional examination, as this will often help decide on the operability of the tumour in case of cancer.
The examination shows:
- the location of the tumour relative to the chest wall and spine
- the location of the tumour relative to the large vessels
- pancoast tumours
- the blood vessels in this area
In case of which symptoms is it recommended to have a chest MRI scan?
Your doctor may request this examination if an X-ray or CT scan does not give an accurate picture of your condition, which is most common in case of cancerous diseases.
How to prepare for the examination?
In all cases, it is recommended that the treating physician be consulted prior to the MRI examination, although native scan does not require special preparation.
It is important to know that due to the strong magnetic field, it is forbidden to bring any metal, device or object containing metal into the examination room! This applies to jewellery, piercings in the body, and some makeup products may contain a substance that affects the success of the examination.
Prior to an examination with contrast agent, specialist consultation is essential. Kidney function laboratory results showing creatinine and urea values are also required to perform this type of scan. In case of an examination with contrast agent, you should not eat for 6 hours before the scan.
How is the examination performed?
An MRI scan is usually performed in a supine position – in rare cases, the patient is lying on their abdomen. During a chest MRI scan, the patient places their hands above their head. An MRI compatible ECG may also be necessary during the examination.
Following the pre-examination orientation, the operator will escort you to the MRI examination room and then ask you to be seated on the examination bed. The operator adjusts the correct body position, places the coils needed for the scan, and then the examination bed lifts you into the magnetic tube. It is important to remain still during the examination, you can only change your body position on the instructions of the operator. The scan can take up to 1 hour while you can continuously communicate with our colleague through the built-in microphone and speaker. The machine makes a loud, rattling sound that can be reduced with ear protection.
When can the test not be performed?
- The examination cannot be performed in the first trimester of pregnancy.
- The examination cannot be performed if you do not have an MRI compatible metal, implant, prosthesis (pacemaker), orthopaedic metal (screw, plate, nail, wire), implanted joint prosthesis, prosthetic limb, implanted defibrillator, neurostimulator, implanted drug dispenser, vascular implants (e.g. clips, vascular occlusion devices), ear implants, metal foreign body (e.g. bullet, splinter, other electronic implants). Therefore, in case of an implant, implanted metal, prosthesis, please bring a written certificate of its compatibility with MRI examination (certified by the implanting specialist, institution) for the examination itself, which clearly states: the suitability to enter the MRI examination room, to perform the MRI examination and marking the maximum magnetic field strength (1.5 Tesla, 3 Tesla) for the device or implant. Inform the person performing the examination about the implant beforehand.
- If the subject weighs more than 200 kilograms, but it also depends on the circumference of the abdomen.
- In case of a scan with contrast agent, if the eGFR of the kidney function is below 45 ml/min, the examination is not performed.
What to expect after the chest MRI scan?
The finding in itself is not a diagnosis. After the examination, please always consult a specialist with the result.
The contrast agent used for MRI examinations is gadolinium-based. In rare cases, hypersensitivity may occur in the form of an allergic reaction after the administration of the contrast agent.
When is the result expected?
The completed recording will be reviewed by the radiologist and the result will be available in our online system after 3 working days.