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Magnetic resonance imaging


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was first introduced into medical imaging about 1985. Since that time it has rapidly grown in importance, often replacing CT as the examination of choice. MRI typically produces cross-sectional images but also provides other information such as flow and perfusion, and spectroscopic information.

Important Principles

MRI using non-ionizing radiation (magnetic and radiofrequency fields) so the potential patient risk is less than in CT. The primary concern for the medical physicist is assuring optimum image quality and minimizing the risk to patients and staff due to the high static magnetic field.

Introduction to References

The Essential References include "ACR Guidance Document for Safe MR Practices". MRI safety is essential since severe injuries, and even death, can occur if ferromagnetic objects are drawn into the MRI scanner. Also included are tutorials on basic MRI physics. The Supplemental References include sources for information on MRI spectroscopy, diffusion weighted imaging, and MRI angiography.