MRI is the method of choice for confirming the diagnosis of sinus and cerebral venous thrombosis. The combination of cranial MRI and MRA (vascular imaging) makes it possible to distinguish between flowing and non-flowing blood and to visualize the thrombus directly. Furthermore, congenital anatomical variations can often be investigated or excluded.
The abbreviation MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, also called nuclear magnetic resonance (MRI) also commonly referred to as an MRI scan. It is a wide-spread imaging technique used to create precise cross-sectional images of the body in high resolution. Based on these images, the physician can assess organ structures and functions. If the entire body is examined using MRI, it is referred to as a whole-body MRI. However, it is also possible to examine individual body parts or organs.
Magnetic resonance imaging exploits the fact that atomic nuclei rotate around their own axis. This rotation is called nuclear spin and creates a small magnetic field around each nucleus. Hydrogen atoms, which are found everywhere in the human body, also exhibit this nuclear spin. Normally, their axes of rotation point in different directions. However, this changes with MRI: the MRI machine, usually a large cylindrical tunnel, into which the patient is slid on a bed, creates a strong magnetic field along which the hydrogen atoms in the patient’s body align in parallel. Then, the MRI machine emits short radio wave pulses, momentarily disturbing the position of the hydrogen atoms and causing them to absorb some energy. After each pulse, the atoms return to their parallel alignment. This process is called relaxation. The previously absorbed energy, which the hydrogen atoms release during relaxation, is recorded. As different tissues in the body have varying water content, different signals are generated, from which the computer calculates the MRI images.
Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are both imaging techniques that provide cross-sectional images, meaning the area of the body being examined is displayed in layers with no overlap and a thickness of a few millimeters. The main difference lies in the underlying physical principle: CT uses X-rays, while MRI converts the magnetic resonance of hydrogen atoms in our body into image information and does not involve any radiation exposure.
No. No adverse effects are known to date. Although there may be some minimal heating of the tissue, strict safety limits are in place to ensure it remains within very low levels. To protect against the loud noises, you will always be provided with hearing protection (headphones or earplugs). Therefore, there are no specific rules regarding the number or frequency of examinations you can undergo.
Magnetic resonance imaging does not use ionizing radiation, unlike conventional X-ray examinations or computed tomography. There is therefore no exposure to radiation or radioactivity.
Patients with pacemakers, insulin pumps, neurostimulators, or cochlear implants cannot undergo an MRI unless specifically approved by the examining physician. t is also necessary to carefully evaluate on a case-by-case basis if there are known metal fragments in the eye socket or facial area, if a cerebral vessel surgery has been performed (such as an aneurysm closure), or if the ossicles in the tympanic cavity have been surgically replaced some time ago. Please inform us about these conditions during the registration process or contact us beforehand. On the other hand, there are no issues with MRI examinations for patients with endoprostheses (knee, hip), vascular surgeries with stent placement, the majority of heart valves, metal wires remaining after bypass surgeries in the sternum, as well as dental fillings, bridges, etc.
In most cases, appointments are made by phone at 069-677016350. The scheduling service is available from 7:30 to 18:00 on working days. Outside of these hours, you can use our callback service or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use our online appointment service to make an appointment for an examination in our practice at any time.
Yes, you should take your medication as usual. No relevant interactions with the contrast agents we use have been reported to date.
We frequently use contrast agents for examinations of the abdominal region, brain, and blood vessels. However, for joint and spinal examinations, contrast agents are only used occasionally. Many MRI examinations are performed without the use of contrast agents. In some cases, the use of a contrast agent is indicated for a comprehensive evaluation. A thin, flexible plastic tube will be inserted into a vein in your arm for the duration of the examination, and the contrast agent will be injected through a pump. Some tissues, such as muscles and blood vessels, appear similar in shades of gray on the images, making them difficult to differentiate. The use of a contrast agent helps to enhance the visualization of blood vessels. The contrast agent is injected into the vein in your arm and distributed throughout the body through the bloodstream. It also accumulates more in tumors and metastases, making them more visible. A commonly used contrast agent is Gadolinium-DOTA. The contrast agent used is not an iodine-based X-ray contrast agent. It contains chemical compounds of gadolinium or iron. This is why you can still undergo an MRI examination with a contrast agent even though you had hypersensitivity reaction to a contrast agent during an X-ray examination. MRI contrast agents are generally much better tolerated than iodine-based X-ray contrast agents. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) is not a contraindication for the administration of an MRI contrast agent. Allergy sufferers theoretically have a slightly increased risk of hypersensitivity reactions to MRI contrast agents. However, appropriate countermeasures for allergic reactions are readily available.
Gadolinium is classified as a metal. On its own, gadolinium can be toxic. However, in contrast agents, it is tightly bound to a non-toxic carrier substance, making it less likely to dissolve easily in the blood. Side effects following the administration of contrast agents are rare. Possible side effects include a sensation of warmth after the injection, tingling or skin irritation, or temporary discomfort. The symptoms usually subside quickly on their own. Allergies are very rare. If you are prone to allergies, it is important to inform the doctors during the pre-examination discussion. If you experience any unusual symptoms during or after the examination, do not hesitate to address them with the staff.
Gadolinium-based contrast agents are often used to enhance the detection of changes and tumors in the brain. Studies have now shown that some of the contrast agents can accumulate in the brain. To date, there are no known adverse effects from gadolinium deposits in the brain. However, long-term risks cannot be completely ruled out. As a precautionary measure, these contrast agents have not been used in Germany since February 2018. Caution is also advised for patients with kidney damage. Gadolinium compounds can also accumulate in the body, for example, in internal organs, the skin, or bones. This is especially the case in patients with kidney damage, where the contrast agent is not eliminated as quickly and it, therefore, remains in the bloodstream longer than usual. Some individuals have experienced connective tissue changes in their organs. Patients with kidney damage should only receive contrast agents if there is no other option.
Compared to many other devices, the magnet opening of the Magnetom Aera is wider at 70 centimeters. Due to the extremely short magnet, many examinations can also be performed with the patient’s head outside the magnet. In addition, the system includes noise-reduced sequences, where the volume is significantly reduced through optimized and intelligent gradient switching – while maintaining image quality and examination time. Some measurements are even completely noiseless. All this creates a relaxed examination atmosphere, which is particularly beneficial for patients with claustrophobia. The redesigned cover of the unit is also equipped with MoodLight lighting, creating a friendly and colorful environment in the examination room.
If your foot, lower leg, knee, or hip is being examined, your upper body will remain outside the tunnel. The head and upper body can also remain outside during an examination of the lumbar spine. You will receive a buzzer and you will be in contact with medneo staff at all times through an intercom system. A camera at the head end provides additional safety. Your companion is welcome to sit with you during the examination. The magnetic tunnel is bright, well ventilated and has friendly, round contours. The room can be illuminated in various shades according to your preferences. We will ensure that your examination is as short as possible.
In general, we recommend that you wear comfortable clothing for the examination. Please note that any type of metal can negatively affect the quality of the MRI images. For examinations of the chest, shoulder, head, pelvic area, and spine, we advise you not to wear clothing or underwear with metal hooks or fasteners. Please remove them in the changing room before the examination. All metal objects such as hair clips, earrings, jewelry, and piercings must be removed in the changing room before the examination. Pants with metal buttons, zippers, snap fasteners, or belts can also negatively affect image quality and should be taken off before the examination. In exceptional cases, we can provide you with metal-free clothing for the duration of the examination. Furthermore, make-up may occasionally interfere with examinations in the head and neck area (some products contain metal particles). Please inform our staff before the examination if you are wearing permanent make-up.
The duration of the examination varies depending on the specific objective and area of the examination. Joint examinations usually take 15 to 20 minutes, but abdominal examinations can take 30 to 40 minutes.
First, in the preparation room, the signal-receiving coil will be placed around the specific area of your body to be examined. Then, while lying on the MRI table, you will be moved into the center of the cylindrical magnet (“tunnel”), as the homogeneous magnetic field necessary for the examination is present only in that location. The MRI scanner has a wide diameter of 70 cm and is open at both ends. The tunnel is equipped inside with air conditioning and lighting – both individually adjustable to different levels. During an examination of the knee joint, for example, your knee will be positioned inside a coil in the center of the tunnel, while your upper body/head will remain outside.
The examination is controlled from a workstation located outside the MRI room. You will have verbal and visual contact with the medneo staff inside the examination room. Due to the loud noises generated during the examination for measurement purposes, you will be provided with headphones (with optional music) or earplugs. Furthermore, you will receive a buzzer that you can use to draw attention to yourself at any time during the examination. It is important to remain still and relaxed during the measurements. Any movement can result in blurry images as the signals emitted by your body cannot be accurately assigned. In such cases, the images may not be usable, and the measurement would need to be repeated. For some examinations it is necessary to use a contrast agent. This type of contrast agent was developed specifically for magnetic resonance imaging and is very well tolerated. It enhances the diagnostic accuracy of the MRI and helps distinguish different types of tissues more clearly.
After approximately four to six measurements, each lasting one to two minutes, sometimes slightly longer, the examination is completed. You will be taken back to the preparation room where you can get dressed again.
Our 1.5 Tesla MR device has an extremely short and very wide tunnel with extremely good image quality. This allows us to offer patients who suffer from claustrophobia an anxiety-free examination in most cases. If needed, an anti-anxiety or sedative medication may be administered prior to the examination.
If you suffer from claustrophobia, please talk to us about it. In many cases, examinations can be performed so that the head remains outside the “tunnel.” Many people are also reassured if they can take a look at the MRI machine the day before the examination, for example, in order to prepare themselves for the situation. If you suffer from claustrophobia, we have the option of giving you a sedative before the examination. We have a very good experience with administering sedatives in the form of a drink. This requires that you arrive at our office 30 minutes prior to your appointment. It is important that you come to the examination with a companion and have someone take you home afterwards. You must not actively drive, operate machinery, or climb ladders for 24 hours after being given a sedative.
Please let us know at the time of appointment if you would like to take a sedative.
We have nothing against the presence of an accompanying person during the examination. Patients who suffer from claustrophobia, in particular, often benefit from the presence of a familiar person. The safety regulations that apply to patients (metal, pacemakers, etc.) also apply to all people present in the MRI room.
After the examination, the images will be given to you in the form of a CD-ROM. In addition, you will receive personalized access data, which you can use to access the images of the MRI examination online. We will send the written findings to the referring physician within 24 hours by fax, mail or post. In medically urgent cases, the written report is issued immediately or the referring physician will be informed by telephone.
While there are no known adverse effects to the unborn child, as a precaution, MRI is not performed in the first trimester (third) of pregnancy (except for a vital indication for the mother). MRI is then possible again in late pregnancy.
At most, minimal amounts of the contrast agent could pass into breast milk, and an infant cannot absorb it from the intestine. However, as a purely precautionary measure, we advise pumping and discarding the breast milk for 24 hours after the examination.
Yes. In many cases, magnetic resonance imaging is the method of first choice in the diagnosis of pediatric diseases. As the child’s body is particularly sensitive to radiation, exposure to X-rays and CT should be avoided as far as possible. Minor patients must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian(s), as after the necessary information about the planned examination, the minor cannot typically give their consent by signature.
Adolescents can bring a written declaration of consent from a parent or guardian as a substitute, but this must be agreed in advance by telephone and, if necessary, clarification must be provided. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.
Only special MRI examinations, e.g. imaging of the bile ducts (MRCP) or the gastrointestinal tract (MDP, Sellink), require you to have an empty stomach to ensure the imaging is of the best quality. In this case, you are not allowed to eat or drink anything after 22:00 on the previous day. For all other MRI exams, you can eat normally before and after the examination.
MRI imaging is possible with tattoos. The tattoo inks used in Germany since the 1990s generally contain few to no magnetic ingredients and are suitable for MRI scans.
In addition, the location and size of the tattoo are crucial in determining whether an MRI examination is feasible and appropriate. Tattoos in the area being examined can cause imaging artifacts and subsequently result in lower resolution of the MRI image. The same effects can occur with particularly large tattoos in the area of the body to be examined.
As a general rule, all metallic jewelry should be removed prior to an MRI examination, if possible. Piercings can be constructed of different metals that are magnetic to varying degrees. Especially the metals iron, cobalt and nickel can be moved by the magnetic field and heat up. Therefore, an MRI examination with piercings made of these materials is usually excluded for safety reasons.
Piercings made of titanium, implantanium or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) do not pose a risk to the patient in MRI. These metals are only weakly magnetic or non-magnetic and can therefore neither be attracted nor heated by the magnetic field. For this reason, it is possible to perform MRI imaging with these piercings, provided they are not located in the part of the body to be examined. Then they can cover the underlying structures and affect the image quality. If the patient does not know about the exact composition of the materials of a piercing, a piercing should always be removed for safety reasons. A plastic piercing is made of plastic. Plastic is not magnetic and therefore does not react to the strong magnetic field in the MRI. Therefore, it is not necessary to remove a plastic piercing before the examination. Even if imaging is performed in the area of the plastic piercing, it can still be worn. Many piercing studios offer to replace metal piercings with plastic piercings for an MRI examination.
Yes. These implants are MR compatible. However, the image quality may be reduced in the relevant places.
If you are scheduled for an MRI with contrast agent injection, we will need the creatinine value. This is a laboratory value that can be determined by your general practitioner or specialist. Ideally, the value should not be older than 4 weeks. However, if you have no pre-existing kidney disease, older values may be sufficient. If in doubt, you should ask at the appointment desk. Where appropriate, please bring documentation of any allergies (e.g., allergy passport) and information about implants you may have.
You should be at the registration desk about 20 minutes before the start of the examination. ….. For most examinations, no special preparation is necessary. In particular, you do not have to have an empty stomach. However, if you are scheduled for an abdominal examination (upper abdominal organs, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, etc.), you should consume only a small amount not immediately before the examination. Please indicate if you are wearing any parts that may contain metal, in particular
- Vascular supports such as stents or vascular clips
- Artificial heart valve
- Insulin pump
- Metal splinters
In principle, it is always useful if we have accurate information about any (pre-)existing conditions. Comparative images are beneficial in assessing disease progression or detecting subtle changes. Therefore, please bring the images that are in your possession or archived with your physician to the examination.
If you have been examined by us recently, your images will be stored in our archive system, and there is then no need to bring along any previous images.
We work with the most modern MRI equipment available on the market. Our MRIs have a very short tunnel that opens wide at both ends, with a diameter of 70 cm. You will receive a buzzer and you will be in contact with medneo staff at all times through an intercom system. A camera at the head end provides additional safety. Your companion is welcome to sit with you during the examination. In many examinations, your upper body will remain outside the magnet’s tunnel. The magnetic tunnel is bright, well ventilated and has friendly, round contours. The room can be illuminated in various shades according to your preferences. We will ensure that your examination is as short as possible.
According to current scientific knowledge, there are no harmful effects or side effects from magnetic resonance imaging. Magnetic resonance imaging does not use X-rays, so repeated examinations are not harmful.