Whole spine MRI examination
The primary goal of the MRI examination of the spine from the neck to the lesser pelvis, as well as the entire spine, is the early detection of cancerous, inflammatory, and degenerative lesions. It allows us to get a comprehensive picture of the condition of our bodies and organs. The magnetic field generated by the MR 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, and its diameter is 70 cm, thus helping reduce the feeling of confinement.
What types of diseases does the whole spine MRI scan help diagnose?
A whole spine MRI scan includes the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine sections. The spinal cord is also clearly visible during the examination.
Cervical spine MRI scan examines cervical spine pain, injuries, numbness radiating to the arm(s).
It can also help with headaches, dizziness, and tinnitus as their examinations so far have brought no results.
In case of suspected hernia or multiple sclerosis, examination with contrast agent is recommended. In all other cases, a native examination is sufficient.
Thoracic spine MRI examination with contrast agent is recommended for thoracic spine pain, injury, suspected hernia, and suspected multiple sclerosis.
Which body parts are not included in the examination?
The examination does not include imaging of the cranium, shoulders, arms, pelvic hip joints, and legs. It examines only the spine, the skeleton of the body, so it primarily helps find out the cause of back pain complaints. It also does not include examination of blood vessels.
How to prepare for a whole spine MRI scan?
In all cases, it is recommended that the treating physician be consulted for details prior to the MRI examination, although the native examination 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 test.
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, no food should be consumed for 6 hours prior to the scan.
How is the whole spine MRI scan performed?
The machine taking MRI images resembles a large, thick ring with a table at the bottom on which the patient lies motionless during the examination while the images are being taken. During the scan, the operator enters the examination room several times and moves the coil, which helps take images, to the region of the body being examined.
You must lie still during the examination. The MRI device is noisy, a knocking, clicking, and machine sound can be heard during the examination, the intensity of which can be reduced by using earplugs. An escort may be present during the test.
When can the test not be performed?
If any magnetically responsive material (joint prosthesis, nail, screw, metal valve, pacemaker, tourniquet, implant, etc.) is implanted in the body, the test cannot be performed. These can move out of place during the examination in a strong magnetic field and, in severe cases, cause injury and make the resulting image of the organ being examined invaluable.
Are there any side effects?
The examination has no side effects. If the patient is prone to claustrophobia, the test may be difficult to be performed. This can be mitigated by the larger-than-average inner diameter of 70 centimetres that our MRI device has.
Important information about the whole spine MRI scan
To book an examination, a 100% deposit must be paid, which must be done by bank transfer at least 2 working days before the examination or by personal payment at our reception. We also accept a Mutual Health Fund card at our reception to pay the deposit. You can get more information about the advance payment from our colleagues when booking an appointment.
The full fee of the examination must also be paid in the event of any interruption of the scan by the patient. If you do not show up at the scheduled examination date and have not cancelled it on working days at least 2 working days in advance, Medicover reserves the right to withhold 100% of the fee for the non-cancelled examination.
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.