Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Scheduling Office: (413) 664-5405 (Mon-Fri 8 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.)
North Adams Regional Hospital has a permanent MRI unit, meaning MRI services are available daily at NARH.
Our new Siemens Symphony MRI unit (installed in March 2005) provides rapid, state-of-the-art MR images. Not only that, it is patient-friendly too, with a wide gantry for maximum comfort (ideal for claustrophobic patients). The system delivers unsurpassed diagnostic detail, allowing NARH to provide comprehensive MR scans including:
- Brain, neck and spine studies
- Body imaging
- Orthopedic studies
- Peripheral MR Angiography
About Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field rather than x-rays to provide clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. Physicians can locate the cause of pain, swelling, or bleeding in the tissues in and around joints and bones, small tears and injuries to tendons, ligaments, and muscles, and some fractures. MRI is often be used to study the brain and the spine. It can also be used for the diagnosis and characterization of infections and tumors involving virtually any location in the body.
Typically the MRI exam consists of two to six imaging sequences, each lasting two to 15 minutes. Each sequence shows a cross section of the body.
You will be positioned on a special table that slides into the MRI system opening where the magnetic field is created. You will hear tapping noises during the test. You will be able to communicate with the technologist at any time by an intercom system. Depending on how many images are needed, the exam will generally take from 15 minutes to an hour, although a very detailed study may take longer. You will be asked to remain still during the actual imaging process, but some movement is allowed between sequences. Depending on the part of your body being examined, a contrast material may be used to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels.
Because of the strong magnetic field, the MRI staff will ask whether you have a prosthetic hip, an aneurysm clip in the brain, heart pacemaker, implanted port, intrauterine device, any metal plates, pins, screws, or surgical staples in your body. Sometimes dyes used in tattoos and permanent eyeliner may contain metallic iron oxide and could heat up during MRI. You may also be asked if you ever had a bullet or shrapnel in your body, or ever worked with metal.