Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a technique that uses a magnet and computers to produce three-dimensional images of the body in a similar manner to CT scanning. Unlike CT, however, MRI depends on the magnetism of body tissues rather than x-rays. A pet undergoing MRI is placed in a very safe magnetic field with specifically designed receiving coils around the area we wish to scan. Using this technology we can obtain a series of parallel images in multiple planes called slices. With computers, we can then apply algorithms to highlight certain tissues or generate 3-D images.
As in CT scanning, we can analyze the series of slices to understand the three-dimensional structure of the body. Occasionally, we will give an injection of a substance called a contrast agent to enhance the difference between tissues.
MRI and CT are complementary tools. When evaluating certain tissues, such as bone, CT will give us more valuable information, whereas with other tissues, such as brain, MRI will give us better detail.
In keeping with our philosophy of bringing the best in technology to the region, UVS is proud to announce that we have recently installed a state-of-the-art MRI specifically designed for dogs and cats. The first of its kind in the Carolinas, this unit rounds out a tremendous array of imaging techniques already available in our facility. With all MRI studies being reviewed by a board-certified radiologists, we are able to combine technology that has been specifically designed for our veterinary patients with the expertise of the Dragonfly Imaging radiology group.