MRI Basics

MRI Basics: What Do I Need?

MRI Basics: What Do I Need?

In which I describe the components of an MRI scanner...

So following on from last week – other than a lot of money to pay for it all*, what do you need for an operational MRI scanner?

*Scanners are often upward of several million pounds.

A Large Magnet

In order to make a significant number of the spins in your body align in one direction a very powerful magnet is needed. The strength of these magnets is measured by a large unit called the Tesla (symbol: T). To get an appreciation of how strong that is there is another unit called the gauss which is also used to measure magnetic fields. 1 Tesla = 10,000 gauss and a normal bar magnet is around 100 gauss.

MRI Basics: What is MRI?

In which I explain the very basics of MRI...

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) allows us to detect a signal due to a fundamental quantum property of atoms - spin (which I will explain in an upcoming post). Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses these same principles to obtain images of (usually) hydrogen atoms in a substance/tissue.

(N)MRI is a non-invasive, non-ionising, imaging modality and is widely used in hospitals worldwide. What does all that mean?