Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses strong magnetic fields to align spinning atomic nuclei (usually hydrogen protons) within body tissues, then uses a radio signal to disturb the axis of rotation of these nuclei and observes the radio frequency signal generated as the nuclei return to their baseline states. An advantage of MRI is its ability to produce images in axial, coronal, sagittal and multiple oblique planes with equal ease. MRI scans give the best soft tissue contrast of all the imaging modalities. With advances in scanning speed and spatial resolution, and improvements in computer 3D algorithms and hardware, MRI has become an essential tool in musculoskeletal radiology and neuroradiology. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Read More...)
Veterinary Neurology and Pain Management Center of New England has a 1.5 T magnet and is newer than any other magnet in the area! Most of the time, MRIs can be done the same day as your appointment, but sometimes, if emergencies come in, these may need to be scheduled for a different day. VNAP also provides MRI for non-neurologic problems and will work with your veterinarian to have this done.
Imaging studies can be done Monday-Saturday. You are welcome to wait at our facility, however, your pet’s stay will be approximately 4 hours, so you may wish to make plans to return later. The imaging study typically does not take more than 60 minutes, however, your pet will need to be under anesthesia and therefore will be monitored until fully recovered.
For interpretation of non-neurologic studies requested by your veterinarian, images will be sent to a board-certified radiologist. Results of the studies will be forwarded to your veterinarian the same day with most cases and at most within 24 hours.
When Do I choose CT over MRI?
MRI is generally better in evaluating soft tissues. MRI is used for evaluation of:
- Brain: tumor, hydrocephalus, inflammation (encephalitis), meningitis), vascular lesions (strokes, hemorrhages)
- Spine: tumors, vascular injuries (FCE), intervertebral disk herniations, infections, fractures, dislocations
- Ocular and orbital diseases: inflammation or tumors of the eye or nearby structures
- Trauma: traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries
- Abdomen: soft tissues, intestinal obstrucitons, metastatic disease and invasion of cancer into surrounding tissue
- Ear, nose and throat: infections and tumors of the middle ear cavity, nose and throat, and evaluation of lymph nodes
- Complex orthopedic diseases: elbow dysplasia, cruciate and other ligament and tendon tears, radiographic abnormalities that require further investigation
What can I expect if I referred for MRI by my veterinarian?
You pet will be examined by Dr. Kube or another doctor (only if Dr. Kube is not available). Your pet’s care will be supervised by Dr. Kube while in the hospital. Specially trained MRI technologist and veterinary technicians with extensive experience in anesthesia will assist Dr. Kube.