Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) produces pictures so precise that physicians often get as much information from this technology as they would from looking directly at the tissue.
Where a CT scan shows the outline of tissue and bone, the MRI shows what is inside. It produces computer-generated views of soft tissue, such as arteries, nerves, tendons and some tumors that present little or no shadow on a conventional x-ray. Like the CT scan, the MRI test is painless and non-invasive.
Since the MRI sees through bone and soft tissue, it is especially valuable in helping to diagnose brain and nervous disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, tumors, certain spinal conditions, abnormal fluid in the skull, stroke and traumatic injuries. Some forms of cancer, and diseases affecting tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone marrow can also be detected with an MRI.