MRI, MRA, and MRCP in Illinois
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What is MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging tool used to create high-resolution scans of your internal anatomy. The MRI machine uses a combination of a computer, a large magnet, and radio frequencies to take extremely detailed cross-section images of your internal organs, which can then be combined in an infinite number of combinations to create extremely precise scans. These scans can be used in the early detection of diseases and can assist in the treatment of your GI conditions. To learn more about MRI imaging in Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Bloomington, IL, please request a consultation with one of our skilled providers at your nearest GI Alliance of Illinois location.
What are the uses of an MRI scan?
An MRI scan is used for a variety of reasons and can be used to identify many conditions. Some examples include:
- Heart conditions
- Spinal cord or brain injuries
- Breast cancer screening
- Digestive system organ scans
- Liver disease
- Tumor or cyst evaluation
- Joint issues or joint injuries
For more information regarding the MRI services at GI Alliance of Illinois, please contact your nearest Chicago, IL provider.
What is MRA and what is MRCP?
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a noninvasive alternative to conventional angiography used to capture images of blood vessels. This technique on the MRI scanner is most commonly used on the head and neck but can be used on any blood vessel in the body.
Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a scan created of the bile ducts, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder using the MRI. MRCP scans are made even better with the help of MRCP+. This technique creates elaborate 3D models of the biliary tree with precise measurements of the ducts.
GI Alliance of Illinois takes your GI health very seriously and uses the best tools available to give the highest quality of care to their GI patients. For more information regarding the MRA or the MRCP, please contact your nearest Chicago, IL location today to request a consultation.
What happens during an MRI?
Prior to your MRI at GI Alliance of Illinois, you will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for your procedure. If your MRI includes contrast, you should not eat or drink anything 2 hours prior to your scan. On the day of your MRI, please dress comfortably making sure to not wear any clothing that has buttons, metal zippers, or hooks. You will be helped onto the scanning bed by a trained and certified MRI technician, who will also review with you exactly what to expect during the exam. During the MRI, you will lie on the scanner bed while your images are being taken. Depending on the number of scans required, this can take between 20 – 45 minutes.
Although an MRI does not use x-rays and does not present a risk to most adults and children, there are some conditions in which an MRI scan is not recommended including:
- Extreme claustrophobia
- History of brain aneurysms or surgery
- History of artificial heart valves
- Metal in your body
- Heart pacemakers
In addition to the above conditions, if you are pregnant or nursing, we urge you to consult your provider before having an MRI scan.
What is the difference between an MRI and a CT scan?
MRI and CT (computed tomography) scans are both valuable tools used by the providers at GI Alliance of Illinois. These tools scan and create images of the body in very specific ways and although they are both used for imaging and helping providers to determine the best course of action for treatment, they are different. Unlike a CT, MRI scans do not use x-rays to create images. A CT sends x-rays throughout the body, section by section, constructing an image. MRI utilizes electromagnetic waves, similar to radio waves, to create images. While in a safe magnetic environment, radio waves are sent through the cells of the body and bounced back to the computer system of the MRI. The computer in the MRI then translates the radiofrequency signals created by the cells in the body into images.
Imaging testing to treat and diagnose GI tract conditions
An MRI can be a valuable tool in the treatment and diagnosis of various GI tract conditions and illnesses. When you look for a physician to help perform or interpret your MRI imaging tests, you can trust the nation's largest physician-led network of expert gastroenterologists, GI Alliance. If you have questions about your MRI or getting an MRI scan, then please talk to a local GI Alliance physician to learn more.
If you are experiencing GI issues and an MRI is needed to assist with a diagnosis or treatment to better your GI health, the skilled providers at GI Alliance of Illinois are here to help you every step of the way. Whether it be through the MRI testing process, the diagnosis, or the treatment of your GI conditions, you are in good hands. To learn more about the advanced imaging available to treat and diagnose your GI conditions, please request a consultation with one of our skilled gastroenterologists at your nearest Chicago, IL location today.
Very professional and personable.
The staff was friendly and efficient. Amy S. was wonderful and caring and remembered details of my issues without digging through notes. She spent enough time with me to develop a plan of action that included my input. She is great!
The staff is always welcoming & professional. PA Amy takes time to listen to my issues, ask questions and offer possible solutions. She orders appropriate diagnostic tests at a convenient location for me. They follow up with results.
Dr.Arndt is an excellent physician who provides great care for his GI patients. His interpersonal skills and ability to explain causes and solutions for conditions in easy to understand terms are fantastic. Thank you for all your great care.
Great doctor. Professional, attentive, and knowledgeable. Feel at ease under his care.