Introduction  
 

Magnetic resonance imaging, more commonly known as "MRI", is a sophisticated method of imaging the body which, unlike CT and radiography, does not use ionizing radiation. MRI capitalizes on the molecular composition of tissues to produce an image.

Unlike with CT, images can be obtained directly in the axial, coronal, or sagittal planes, and 3 dimensional volumes of data can also be obtained. Advantages of MRI include the excellent soft tissue contrast and differentiation, reducing the need for intravenous contrast enhancement, the ability to evaluate blood flow, and the ability to subtract out background tissues that are not of interest.

The goal of this module is to serve as an introduction to MRI, and to provide you with information to aid in understanding what you are looking at when you view an image.

You can view individual sections of this module using the selections on the right, or click "next" to move sequentially through the module.

  Learning sections  
 
1. How images are obtained
 
2. Factors affecting appearance
 
3. What anatomical structures are well seen
 
4. Indications for use and specialized techniques