MRI is an abbreviation of 'magnetic resonance imaging'.

Page updated September 2023 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

MRI coil

A magnetic coil which produces the magnetic field that influences the alignment of molecules in the tissues, so that the various structures can be seen.

MRI interpretation

Results are read as body 'slices'.


How does MRI work?

All cells and body tissues react to electrical charges. MRI uses powerful magnets to align the protons within tissues to its own electrical field. Then the magnetic signal is stopped and the tissues swing back to their original alignment,  releasing radio waves as they do so. These are captured by the computer which can image these signals and allow the doctor to 'see' imaged slices of the part of the body under examination. Because doctors learn to interpret body slices as part of their anatomy training, it is little effort for them to recreate the 3-dimensional body part in their mind's eye.

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magnetic resonance imaging

Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

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