What is an MRI sc​an?

Your doctor may request a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to detect or diagnose a range of medical conditions.

Unlike a computed tomography scan (CT scan) which uses ionising radiation, an MRI scan uses a magnetic field, radio waves and computer technology to capture high-resolution images of the body’s internal structure.

“An MRI scan is a safe and painless diagnostic imaging tool for capturing accurate and detailed images of body parts that sometimes cannot be seen by standard x-rays and CT scans” says Dr Albert Low ​​​Su Chong​, Senior Consultant, ​Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth​ group.

How can an MRI scan help?​​

Your doctor may order an MRI scan for the brain, spine, chest, heart and aorta, bones and joints, abdomen and pelvis.

An MRI scan can help to:

  • Locate any tumour, infection or swelling in the brain and spinal cord.
  • Check for cancerous or abnormal growths in internal organs, in the abdomen and pelvis such as the liver, pancreas, kidneys, prostate, uterus and ovaries.
  • Visualise torn tendons and ligaments in joints, detect disc disorders such as herniated discs and bone tumours.
  • Detect strokes and other vascular diseases of the brain such as aneurysms.

Read on to learn what happens during an MRI scan.

Ref: R14