2010 Hospital of the Year

For more information regarding our MRI imaging capabilities, please contact us at 903.577.6115.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Within the main hospital, we offer the Magnetom Espree Open Bore MRI, featuring high resolution imaging and fast scan times. At Open Imaging of Titus Regional Medical Center, we offer the Aries II, a low field open MRI that makes it well suited for patients that are claustrophobic.

MRI is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Using a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures, detailed MRI images can then be examined on a computer monitor. MRI imaging allows physicians to better evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods.

Common Uses of MRI

Diagnosis or monitoring of treatments for conditions such as:

  • Tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis
  • Certain types of heart problems
  • Blockages or enlargements of blood vessels, including the aorta, renal arteries, and arteries in the legs
  • Diseases of the liver, such as cirrhosis, and that of other abdominal organs, including the bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreatic ducts
  • Diseases of the small intestine, colon, and rectum
  • Cysts and solid tumors in the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract
  • Tumors and other abnormalities of the reproductive organs (e.g., uterus, ovaries, testicles, prostate)
  • Causes of pelvic pain in women, such as fibroids, endometriosis and adenomyosis
  • Suspected uterine congenital abnormalities in women undergoing evaluation for infertility
  • Breast cancer and implants

What to Expect During Your MRI

Your physician will inform you of specific guidelines regarding eating, drinking and medications prior to your MRI. Some MRI examinations require swallowing or injection of contrast medium to obtain images. 

The radiologist should be informed if you have any serious health problems or if you have recently had surgery.  

Both MRI machines used at our facility are well-tolerated by most patients with claustrophobia due to their open design but if you are anxious, your provider may give you a prescription for a mild sedative prior to your scheduled examination.

Because they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit, metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the exam room.

These items include:

  • Jewelry, watches, credit cards and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged
  • Pins, hairpins, metal zippers and similar metallic items, which can distort MRI images
  • Removable dental work
  • Pens, pocket knives and eyeglasses
  • Body piercings

In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. People with the following implants should not enter the MRI scanning area unless explicitly instructed to do so by a radiologist or technologist who is aware of the presence of any of the following:

  • Internal (implanted) defibrillator or pacemaker
  • Cochlear (ear) implant
  • Come types of clips used on brain aneurysms
  • Artificial limbs or metallic joint prostheses

Other Expectations During an MRI

The traditional MRI unit is a large cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet. You will lie on a moveable examination table that slides into the center of the magnet. The computer workstation that processes the imaging information is located in a separate room than the scanner. 

A computer processes the signals and generates a series of images each of which shows a thin slice of the body. The images can then be studied from different angles by the interpreting physician. Overall, the differentiation of abnormal (diseased) tissue from normal tissues is often better with MRI than with other imaging modalities such as x-ray, CT and ultrasound.

MRI exams generally include multiple runs (sequences), some of which may last several minutes. Depending on the type of exam and the equipment used, the entire exam is usually completed in 15 to 45 minutes. Most MRI exams are painless, however, some patients find it uncomfortable to remain still during MR imaging. It is normal for the area of your body being imaged to feel slightly warm. It is important that you remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded, which is typically only a few seconds to a few minutes at a time. For some types of exams, you may be asked to hold your breath. You will know when images are being recorded because you will hear tapping or thumping sounds when the coils that generate the radiofrequency pulses are activated. You will be able to relax between imaging sequences, but will be asked to maintain your position as much as possible.

You will be alone in the exam room during the MRI procedure. However, the technologist will be able to see, hear and speak with you at all times using a two-way intercom.

If you have not been sedated, no recovery period is necessary. You may resume your usual activities and normal diet immediately after the exam. A few patients experience side effects from the contrast material, including nausea and local pain. Very rarely, patients are allergic to the contrast material and experience hives, itchy eyes or other reactions. If you experience allergic symptoms, a radiologist or other physician will be available for immediate assistance.

A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will share the results with you.