St. Luke's University Health Network

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses magnet to create image

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is done without the use of X-rays. In fact, the MRI scanner is a large magnet that makes water molecules inside the body move. The MRI computer detects this movement and converts it into a picture. The MRI machine is shaped like a tunnel. Patients lie on the table. Each MRI exam takes from 20 to 60 minutes. Because certain medical devices can be affected by the magnet, patients with pacemakers, defibrillators and some other implanted devices must not undergo MRI exams. You will be questioned by a trained MRI technologist before you enter the scanner.

Why is Magnetic Resonance Imaging used?

MRI exams are useful for the evaluation of orthopedic injuries, spine, brain and orbit conditions and diseases of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. MRI also is used to examine blood vessels in the head, neck and body. The newer technologies available in the MRI Department at St. Luke’s University Hospital – Bethlehem Campus include the evaluation of stroke, brain tumor growth and response to treatment, disease progression and brain function.

Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is used to distinguish breast cancer from benign tissue in dense breasts. For women with complicated breast conditions or suspicious breast tissue, an MRI may help to more accurately diagnose the condition, plan procedures or measure the results of treatments. Breast MRI is available at St. Luke’s University Hospital – Bethlehem Campus and St. Luke’s Hospital - Quakertown Campus. See Breast MRI for more information.

St. Luke’s MRI facilities are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and follow ACR quality and safety standards.

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