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 the brain, MRI will give us better detail.
In keeping with our philosophy of bringing the best in technology to the region, Upstate Vetis proud to announce that we have recently installed a state-of-the-art MRI. 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 the MRI studies being reviewed by 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.
MRI can typically be scheduled within 24 hours of your consultation at our Greenville location. Laboratory tests and radiographs may be necessary prior to the MRI and those can be performed at the time of your consultation. Please be aware that MRIs do require anesthesia. For this reason, please make sure to fast your pet after 10pm the night before the procedure. Water is allowed any time prior to your appointment.