MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     7th May 2024        

Context: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) emerges as a vital non-surgical technique for exploring the human body, offering unparalleled insights without invasive procedures.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

  • About: It is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure used to obtain images of soft tissues within the body. MRI is particularly adept at imaging soft tissues, which are tissues that have not undergone calcification and become harder.
  • Development of MRI Techniques: It were established in the early 1970s.

oPaul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield refined MRI techniques in the late 1970s, making them commercially viable.

  • Recognition: Lauterbur and Mansfield were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2003.
  • Applications

oMRI is used to image various parts of the body including the brain, cardiovascular system, spinal cord, joints, muscles, liver, and arteries.

oImportance in Cancer Diagnosis: MRI plays a crucial role in the observation and treatment of certain cancers such as prostate and rectal cancer.

oTracking Neurological Conditions: MRI is instrumental in tracking and diagnosing neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, epilepsy, and stroke.

oFunctional MRI for Brain Activity: It utilizes changes in blood flow to infer neuronal activity in the brain, enabling researchers to study brain function.

Pros of MRI

•Precise imaging with powerful magnetic fields.

•Gradient magnets highlight specific portions for scanning.

•Sequenced scans enable focused examination without movement.

•Versatile imaging from various angles and small increments.

•Safe procedure with no long-term harm to individuals.

Cons of MRI

•MRI machines are costly, ranging from lakhs to crores.

•Patients bear high scan costs, around ₹10,000 or more.

•Patients must lie still during scans, causing discomfort.

•Claustrophobia may worsen during MRI scans.

•Energy-intensive setup leads to expensive operation and loud noises.