MRI uses a powerful magnetic field and radio frequency pulses together with a sophisticated computer to produce detailed images of inside the body.
These images are viewed on a computer monitor.
The investigation is non invasive and does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).

The patient will lie on his/her back with the head in a special box called a coil. The face is open.
Ear plugs will be offered to reduce the noise level.
Intravenous contrast may be necessary and can only be determined during the course of the investigation.
Indications for an MRI of the brain include developmental anomalies

  • Epilepsy and its' causes
  • Tumours/infections
  • Investigation of headaches
  • White matter disease
  • Stroke
  • Cranial nerve pathology
  • Pituitary gland
  • Orbital pathology
  • Vascular malformations and aneurysms
  • Clotting of the veins
This investigation is done as an adjunct to mammography and ultrasound of the breast.
MRI is excellent to detect more than a single tumour in one breast and whether there is an undetectable lesion in the other breast.
The patient will lie prone (on the stomach).
Intravenous Gadolinium is always used to help in lesion detection and to characterise the lesion.

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Specialised coils are applied to the joint being imaged to improve the signal to noise ratio and image quality.
Typical joints evaluated are the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle.
Bone bruising and injury to the cartilage is well demonstrated. Injury to ligaments, tendons and the menisci of the knee are best assessed by this modality. Blood/fluid in the joint is easily seen.
Evaluation of soft tissue tumours and infections. Contrast may be used at the discretion of the Radiologist.
This includes the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. The patient will lie on his/her back.
Contrast may be used if there is a suspected lesion or if the patient has had recent back surgery.
  •  Disc disease.
  • Nerve entrapment.
  • Tumours.
  • White matter conditions.
  • Post traumatic injury to the spinal cord is best seen on MRI.


MRI of the pancreas and the biliary drainage system is done to look for small stones which are blocking the bile ducts and resulting in obstruction.
The patient will notice a yellowish tinge (jaundice) to the skin. Strictures and tumours and other causes for the obstruction will also be noted.