How to Read an MRI. An MRI machine uses a magnetic field to produce clear, detailed images of the brain, spine, heart, bones, and other mri made easy well almost pdf, making it an extremely valuable tool for doctors.
Most modern MRI centers can give you a copy of your MRI on a disc or flash drive after your appointment — you may not even need to ask for it specially. While it takes a doctor to make a diagnosis from an MRI, viewing and analyzing your MRI at home is easy — just don’t jump to any conclusions without consulting with a doctor. Insert your MRI disc into your computer. Today, you will usually be given a disc with your images on it after your MRI. The main purpose of this is so that you can give the disc to your doctor, but there’s nothing wrong with reading your MRI at home. Start by putting the disc into your computer’s DVD drive. Some MRI centers may have different policies for giving patients copies of their MRI.
For instance, instead of a disc, you may be given a USB drive. It’s even possible to host and send MRI files online. The important thing in any case is to get the MRI files onto your computer. If the program loads automatically, follow the on-screen prompts. If you’re lucky, the program will automatically load when you put the disc into your computer. In this case, simply follow the instructions on screen to install and access the program.
However, MRI viewing software is notoriously unreliable — it’s something that even doctors have a hard time with. If necessary, install the viewing software. If the software doesn’t load automatically, most MRI discs will come with some way to install it on the disc. In general, you’ll need to open the disc to explore the files, find this installation program, and run it. The exact steps you need to take will vary depending on how your MRI center has packaged your images on the disc.
If you’re not having any luck or you can’t find an included installer program, try downloading a free MRI viewer from the internet. Again, the exact steps you’ll need to take here can vary slightly depending on the exact program you have packaged with your images. Generally, most MRI viewers will have some sort of option to load or import images that you can select from the menu bar at the top of the screen. In this case, select this option, then pick the image file on your disc that you’d like to look at. You may not see an “import image” option, but you’ll probably see something to the effect of “import study. Another option you may encounter is that, as soon as the program loads, it will present you with a “table of contents” of all the MRIs on the disc. In this case, simply select the study you want to view first to proceed.
Most MRI programs start with a large black space on one side of the screen and a smaller toolbar on the other side. If you see small preview pictures of your MRI images in the toolbar, double click on the image you want to view. It should load a large version of the image into the black area. Be patient while you wait for your images to load. Though the viewing programs don’t usually look like much, a single MRI image contains a large amount of information, so it may take your computer a moment or two to finish the job of loading it up. Familiarize yourself with the different MRI viewing schemes.
When your MRI first loads up, if you’re lucky, it will be immediately obvious what you’re looking at. However, in many cases, the image you see may be a completely unintelligible mix of black, white, and grey. Knowing how MRIs are shot can help you make sense of your images. Often the easiest for non-doctors to interpret. Sagittal MRIs are basically side or profile views of your body.
The image is as if you’ve been sliced in half vertically, from your head to your pelvis. These images are basically a “head on” view of your body. You’re looking at your features vertically from the front — as if you were standing facing the camera. Often the hardest for non-doctors to interpret.
Here, you’re basically viewing thin slices of your body from the top down — as if you’ve been cut into many thin horizontal slices from your head to your toes like a salami. Look for contrast to identify different body features. MRIs are in black and white, which can sometimes make it hard to tell parts of the body apart. Because there’s no color, contrast is your best friend. Luckily, different types of tissue show up as different shades on an MRI, so it’s easy to see contrast where differing tissues meet. The exact shade that each type of tissue will be depends on the MRI’s contrast settings. The two main contrast settings are called T1 and T2.