Why would a doctor order an MRI with contrast? – Explained!
Despite bearing side effects like nausea, headache, skin irritation & rashes, fever & chills, dizziness, and fatigue, contrast agents are crucial in the process of MRI sometimes!
Do you know why?
It is certainly because the contrast material, named gadolinium-based contrast agents or GCAs, takes the stage of medical diagnosis with myriads of benefits! This contrast agent is a complex compound containing paramagnetic metal ions and a chelating agent that refrains these ions from turning toxic!
During the MRI scan, the radiologist shall give you this contrast dye right before you get moved into the donut-shaped semi-enclosed MRI scanner. Herein, he shall inject the contrast dye into your veins via an intravenous needle & subsequently, the dye, on reaching the blood vessels, shall get mixed with your bloodstream and start interacting with your body. As a result, the internal body part your doctor orders to diagnose shall get highlighted in the MRI findings!
While an MRI scan is itself so efficient in detailing the internal body structures, what is the need for this contrast agent; you must be wondering!
That is what we are here to disclose! How about a quick look-through?
Doctors order an MRI with contrast to assess tumors & cancers
You must know how important an early diagnosis is for life-threatening health conditions like cancer!
Alas! An MRI without contrast may not show-up the cancerous growth at its initial stage. In fact, a static MRI cannot help distinguish between a tumor and cancer.
For this reason, your doctor orders an MRI with contrast!
The contrast agent can help detect the nature of the tumor, even when it is tiny, and can simultaneously determine the location where it resides. That is when your treatment is likely to turn more efficient, and you can get relief at its earliest!
When your doctor orders an MRI with contrast, the image shall appear sharper & clearer than ever before!
Doctors order an MRI with contrast to examine inflammations
Inflammation, specifically that of your soft tissues & synovial membrane, is hard to detect. Even when you opt for a static MRI, the inflamed area may appear like a thickened part, somewhat resembling fat.
That is misleading, isn’t it?
In this case, your doctor cannot understand what is bothering you and to what extent. Thereupon, failing to decide on the treatment regimen.
An MRI with contrast comes into assistance, adding value to the MRI finding by ensuring precision & decipherability of inflammations. Your doctor can hereby understand the exact area of Inflammation or how far it has spread and can also introspect how bad it is!
An MRI with contrast is very popular for diagnosing early inflammatory arthritis these days!
Doctors order an MRI with contrast to trace brain abnormalities
Do your brain contains various soft tissues? For instance, your white matter, adipose tissue, and grey matter; may appear all the same in a body scan, even during an MRI.
For assessing an abnormality in detail, the MRI findings need to portray the distinction between these different soft tissues! That is why a contrast dye is used for a brain MRI, nearly 30% of them!
The dye can help demonstrate the various tissues precisely & the abnormality they reserve if any! Whether you have a stroke, dementia, brain tumor or cancer, brain infections, or aneurysm, the MRI with contrast can serve in a detailed diagnosis of its extent & location!
In addition to this,
An MRI involving contrast agents can reveal the exact location of brain injury & the amount of internal bleeding you have, and if there are blood clots in the blood vessels of your brain! The following treatment is certain to be accurate & faster!
Your doctor tends to order an MRI with contrast for assessing any brain abnormality!
Doctors order an MRI with contrast to diagnose disease in the heart & blood vessels
Your heart & blood vessels are easily vulnerable to various disease development. From congenital heart disease to plague in your veins, infections in your heart chambers to the reduced flow of blood supply to any of your body organs, people are dying out of heart disease on a rapid scale – 700,000 a year on average (For the developed countries like America)!
Your doctor needs an early & accurate diagnosis of your heart and blood vessels thereupon!
Your doctor needs to know whether your heart chambers are affected, whether the surrounding tissues of your heart are affected, or whether the aorta lay affected!
Your doctor needs to assess the thickness of your heart walls!
A static MRI without contrast may not serve it all, but an MRI with contrast shall serve thee!
The contrast agent is likely to make the different parts of your heart, your blood vessels, & blood flow look sharper and bright, eliminating the requirement for any additional scan before the treatment!
Doctors order an MRI with contrast to inspect spine problems
Your spinal cord may bear the burden of tumors, multiple sclerosis, compressed discs, herniated discs, infections & inflammations, tumors & cancers, pinched nerves, compressed fractures, and so forth!
These internal health problems may not show in a normal MRI scan devoid of contrasts. Even when it does, the level of the condition stands undeciphered!
On the other hand,
When your doctors recommend an MRI scan with contrast, they take a step ahead in interpreting the particular stage of spine disorder or disease and can initiate the treatment shortly. For instance, the contrast dye accurately shows whether you have a primary progressive multiple sclerosis, a secondary progressive one, replacing again, or just showing the syndrome of its upcoming arrival!
When your doctors order an MRI with contrast, there is undoubtedly a beneficial position that they are trying to capitalize on! They know that the symptoms are mild and chances of complications are as rare as 1%. They would look for long-term health benefits and desire to cure patients before it’s too late!
Did your doctor order you an MRI scan with contrast? Why? What was your experience? You can share with us in the comments below!
If you want to book an MRI scan with contrast, you can try our marketplace www.mrichandigarh.com & get your test done from the best NABL-accredited Radiology Labs in the city!