Everything You Need to Know About MRI Scans: Interpretation, Recommendations, and Results

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging1 (MRI) is used all over the world for detecting any odd growths or diseases in your body. It is very popular in the medical field for providing fairly accurate results which aids in the treatment of any sort of ailment. 

However, we as individuals need to know when we should worry about the MRI results. Of course, your healthcare provider or medical professionals will inform you about any odd happenings but there are some times when this might not happen. 

So let’s look into everything about this imaging technique in detail. 

1. Interpretation of MRI Results

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It is a radiologist’s job to look at and interpret a patient’s results. For any sort of inspection from your side(in case of inaccurate results), you might need to recheck yourself once and then get to your health specialist with your concerns.

You will need to follow all the precautions laid out by Geeky Medics. Look twice, thrice, and more into the imaging of both sides of your body parts. Check if there are any more abnormal signals in the imaging, might there be any more growths that do not seem normal and might or might not be noted in the final results?

2. Why Do Doctors Recommend MRI Scans?

Why do doctors recommend MRI scans? Broadly there are just two types of scans. Emergent and non-emergent.

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2.1. Emergent Scans

Emergent Scans are those scans that are ordered to be done immediately. This is mostly for those patients who are potentially in danger or require imaging immediately to begin treatment. 

In such emergency cases, the technologist is requested to come into the house to carry out the procedure. You can have a detailed look at this issue here.

2.2. Non-Emergent Scans

Non Emergent Scans as defined by web browsers are those cases that do not require immediate medical information. More in-depth details about this are not elaborated.

3. Normal vs. Abnormal MRI Results

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3.1. Normal MRI Scan Results

Obvious of the word itself, normal MRI results would mean that the area that was being scanned or studied is completely fit or normal and has no signs of odd growths or ailments. 

If anything, the patient should manifest this result. 

3.2. Abnormal MRI Scan Results

Contrary to the previously mentioned results. Abnormal MRI results would have something that is not considered as healthy or shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

All the abnormal findings on MRIs can include tumors, odd growths, cancer cells, infections, pus, diseases in the special body parts, and even cardiac problems.

Your doctors will inform you about this or the radiologist is most likely to note it down in your final results.

4. Who Operates A MRI Scanner?

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The radiographer2 is the person who operates the MRI machine while the scanning is taking place. This procedure is very strong and has to be done carefully. 

There is a magnetic field present in the environment. Hence, the person handling the machine must be placed in another room.

They are responsible for creating a rapport with the patient when explaining the MRI procedure. This is crucial, as at times the procedure is defined as scary by a few patients. The patients need to explain that the noises that will be made are due to the magnetic property of the machine.

They will be the ones adjusting the patient well in the machine and once it’s done, they are responsible for carrying out the screening perfectly with proper image capturing. 

5. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A Trusted Way Of Detection

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a reputated technique used to diagnose any sort of physical and internal impairment. The ones not visually visible by the naked eye are installed into this machine. 

It provides a very clear internal picture of the given part of the body. Sometimes some medical conditions are not clear to the doctor or the cause from which the problem is arising is not defined. The doctor will order an MRI scan at the earliest for you. 

The number of sicknesses is clearly defined on this website. To summarise, it covers bone diseases3, brain tumors4, heart problems, problems with the eye, internal fractures, spinal cord injuries or any similar problems with, veins and arteries with ailments, and also sports injuries.  A wide range of medical concerns are covered by MRI scans.

6. How Long Does The MRI Scan Take?

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The entire process of this imaging system is very precise. As the patient is put inside the cylindrical machine, there is some scientific procedure that is administered. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine has elucidated wonderfully the procedure. The magnetic field created, the radio waves sent toward the body, and the movements of the atoms all contribute to the imaging being done. 

Once the radiographer has completed the viewing, you are pulled out. This does seem like an hour-long procedure when you read it, doesn’t it? 

But as a matter of fact, the time taken to complete the MRI scan depends on the part that is being studied. It is going to be different from one case to another, the complexity of your case is also going to add in the time. 

For instance, a brain MRI scan might take as long as 30 minutes to 1 hour. A spinal MRI scan might take 20 minutes or more whereas an MRI scan of the mouth should take around 15 minutes. It will vary greatly from person to person. 

But we would like to make it clear to you that this procedure is very much respected in the medical field, so the longer time could be because the detected part hasn’t been scanned yet.

Airs Medical has given a detailed explanation of why it takes so long. You can refer to their site to learn more about it.

7. How Long Does It Take To Get MRI Results?

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Generally, this depends on the number of appointments for the MRI scan made along with you, it will also be up to your healthcare provider on how fast he wants to deliver your final report. 

In most cases, MRI reports are prepared within a few hours(4-5 hours span). But the making of the final report with all the readings, spotting, and conclusion takes days. 

To get a hard copy of the report, it may take a couple of weeks in some cases(Highly variable). 

Unlike the previous times, online reports are pretty common now. It may only take a day to get your final report via the website for you, now. 

8. When to Worry About MRI Results?

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Let’s discuss this in detail, as we’ve mentioned towards the very beginning of the article. There are some cases where doctors order an emergent MRI scan. 

In others, we have mentioned that reports will come out abnormal, for example, with extra mass or lesions or calcification or something else. But just because it is abnormal, don’t immediately be petrified. 

It is possible in some cases, although very rare, that the extra growth or anything as such is not serious. You may need a long talk with your doctor about this. 

Now, for the cases where abnormal findings are considered dangerous, you will need to check up on that. The severity of a case can be different from the other. Once something odd has been detected, you need to follow up on the next procedure. 

If we had to be frank here, the further things are up to your healthcare specialist as they will administer the treatment. Get the right doctor to begin the treatment because in some cases, the abnormal reports cause worry. 

9. What Happens After Getting The MRI Scan Results?

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Now in some cases, the patient is given a sedative to induce sleep, here, you will need some rest after the MRI is done. If you do some work or something hardcore work is included in your daily regime, kindly avoid it for the day. 

If something suspicious has been detected by the imaging facilities and the radiographer and your doctor have concluded that it is dangerous for you(after examining your case), then you will have a set of tests followed.

To explain, let’s into this. 

Suppose a person has cancer and the doctors are trying to detect it using the MRI scan. After the tumors or the lesions have been detected, the doctors will carefully look at the location and how far the cancer cells have gone. 

Then depending on the severity, the doctors might mention the need to have surgery, followed by radiation therapies. 

10. Conclusion

So we can conclude safely, that MRI is the root of discovering many medical conditions. As we said, whether to worry or not to worry is up to your report and the findings. We suggest you have a good long conversation with your doctor about this.

Also, confirm with them how long it will take to get your results so that you can be calm and soothed during the time frame from your MRI scan test to your results.

  1. Weiskopf, Nikolaus, et al. “Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging of brain anatomy and in vivo histology.” Nature Reviews Physics 3.8 (2021): 570-588. ↩︎
  2. Friedrich-Nel, Hesta. “The future roles of a radiographer.” Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences 53.4 (2022): S5-S6. ↩︎
  3. Si, Jinyan, et al. “Osteopontin in bone metabolism and bone diseases.” Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research 26 (2020): e919159-1. ↩︎
  4. Amin, Javaria, et al. “Brain tumor detection and classification using machine learning: a comprehensive survey.” Complex & intelligent systems 8.4 (2022): 3161-3183. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Sanjana

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