Why is contrast important in MRI?

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Why is contrast important in MRI?

Top Reasons: Why is contrast important in MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Test, called MRI in short, is a diagnostic process that can accurately lay out the differences in the soft tissues underlying your flesh & bones. It is the technique that constitutes strong magnets & radio waves to culminate a detailed layout of your internal body structures in the form of three-dimensional imaging!

An MRI is a safe process & does not involve any invasion or radiation like other diagnostic methods; instead, it retains the credit of not leading to any risk or complications in the post-diagnosis period!

I suppose you already know this!


Why is contrast important in MRI?

What you may not be aware of is how contrast plays a crucial role in the process of an MRI scan!

The contrast material used herein is known as gadolinium-based contrast agents, the one meant solely for an MRI scan!

Alas! If you undertake a self-referred MRI, you may not have the opportunity to get contrast material involved in the process. It is because such a thing lay only undertaken when your doctor refers & approves of it!

The contrast dye stands usually injected into your vein & it shall leave your body automatically in a few hours. But, they may leave some side effects like dizziness, headache, nausea, fatigue, etc. It is precisely why you cannot get an MRI with contrast out of the blue!


You must be wondering why a contrast dye that leaves side effects is still so important in an MRI scan.


That is exactly what we are here to discuss. Let us quickly explore the reasons below!

Enhancing the Visibility of certain Health Conditions

Yes. Contrast is important in an MRI scan to enhance the visibility of certain health conditions that may otherwise lay untraceable amidst your flesh, bones, & body fluids!

When your doctors require a vivid image for assessing a definite area within your body & locating abnormalities, they may prescribe an MRI with contrast. It is because they know that such an abnormality may not be visible in an MRI without contrast material & in that case, your treatment is likely to delay!

A contrast dye, when added to your veins, can enhance the visibility of, –

  • Blood Vessels & Its Inflammation or Narrowed condition,
  • Blood Supply to your various organs,
  • Tumors and their nature – Malignant or Benign,
  • Tissue or Cell Damage, and
  • The condition of Nerves & Lymph Nodes.

Therefore, such merit can, no doubt, compensate for the minor side effects of a contrast dye that are likely to disappear on its own within 24 hours!

Tracing & Examining Conditions like Multiple Sclerosis

When your doctors predict that you have Multiple Sclerosis in your brain or spinal cord, i.e., the chronic progressive condition in which the sheaths of your nerve cells tend to get damaged, they may order an MRI with contrast.

No wonder contrast actively contributes to the tracking & examination of the disease progression. It may help understand whether the lesions are new or existing for a long. It can help assess the type of Multiple Sclerosis you have!

Yes. An MRI with contrast shall pay heed to it and show whether you have – Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, or Releasing/ Remitting Multiple Sclerosis!

That is when your doctor can plan the requisite treatment and help you get relief from such health threats!

Ensuring a Better Clarity of the MRI Findings

Since an MRI with contrast can highlight definite parts of your soft tissues, thereby ensuring a better clarity of your MRI findings, your doctor may ask for an MRI with contrast dye!

It is because a Standard MRI, devoid of contrast, fails to identify moving fluids, such as blood running through your arteries. Therein, the veins & arteries appear as a void flow or black totally in an MRI without contrast.

On the contrary, the contrast dye can offer enough clarity to the bloodstream, and the tissues targeted for examination shall appear bright white in the MRI imaging. Hence, your doctor can easily detect & evaluate what’s wrong with your internal health!

Diagnosing & Detecting Cancers

Contrast dye is undoubtedly significant in spotting cancerous growth in an MRI scan and lay commonly used in cancer diagnosis and detection. As the use of contrast makes the MRI findings more detailed than ever before, cancer detection turns easy!

At that time, your doctors can assess the exact stage of cancer.  They can understand the size and shape of cancer, whether it is new or relapsing from past genes! They can introspect whether cancer can be treated with chemotherapy or will radiation therapy works better! Yeah, all essentials of cancer diagnosis are readable at their best!

Eliminating the Possibility of Further Additional Scan Requirement

Last but not least, contrast dye in an MRI scan stands advantageous for shrugging off the possibility of another scan. In other words, the layout of MRI findings when the contrast dye is involved is so accurate that you will not need another scan in the foreseeable future before your treatment.

It means you can both save time & money on disease diagnosis when your doctor orders an MRI scan with contrast! Isn’t that better than pursuing tests on & on to find out the exact health problem?

For me, it does, and likewise for many who are accustomed to it!

Last Words:


What would you prefer – An MRI scan that offers better quality images but brings forth a few minor side effects or an MRI scan that does not serve the purpose of disease detection appropriately but leaves no side effects at the same time?

You can comment below & let us know your opinion. You can also drop your feedback if you have undertaken an MRI scan with contrast. This shall help many who will be up-taking the test in the near future! Would you not help them with proof of pedigree?

Book an Appointment on www.mrichandigarh.com

Call us at 8699572364

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About author
Hi, I am Alka Tiwari, Founder & Patient Care Executive at MRIChandigarh.com. Helping you get the diagnostics scans services like MRI, CT Scan, UltraSound & PET Scan, etc at the best price. At MRIChandigarh's blog, I will be writing to create awareness and to educate you about how and where to get diagnostic scans done in Chandigarh at the best price with best-in-class services.
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