Radiologie Ottobrunn, München
Radiologie Ottobrunn - Die sanfte Diagnostik

Full-body Check-up for a full-body MRI

Vascular diseases are the number 1 cause of death in Germany.  Every year some 280,000 people suffer a heart attack or stroke as a result of vascular problems and arteriosclerosis.
The second most frequent cause of death is cancer in its various manifestations.  The annual number of new cancer cases in Germany is estimated at 400,000 in men and women.

When is an MRI of the full body necessary?

The full-body MRI is most suitable for it as:

• cancer-screening, early detection of cancer of the bowels
• screening of the entire vascular system (except the coronary vessels)
• early detection of stroke risk

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What are the benefits of a full-body MRI?

During a full-body MRI the entire body is searched for mal-formations, hidden sources of inflammation, organ enlargements or a tumour. As well, the entire vascular system (except the coronary vessels) is analyzed for possible tightening (stenoses) or bulging (aneurisms).

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How should I prepare for the examination?

The magnetic field created by the examination device attracts all metals or objects containing metals, including prostheses, implants such as screws and plates, jewellery, hairpins, eyeglasses, hearing aids and coins. To the degree possible, these items must be left in the change room. More recently produced prostheses and implants do not contain such metals and are therefore compatible with the examination.
Metal parts inside the body, which cannot be removed, such as metal splinters, could shift inside the patient and, depending on the location, may cause injury.
Red colours used in tattoos and permanent eyeliners could contain ferric oxide and may therefore heat up during the examination. You may eat and drink normally before the examination.
Patients who fear becoming claustrophobic in the MRI device may request a sedative. In such cases, the patient must be accompanied to ensure a safe journey home. It is also possible to use Open MRI for the examination.

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When can an MRI not be done?

Absolute contra-indications against an MRI examination are all electronic implants, e.g. pacemaker, neuro-stimulator (spinal or cerebral), subcutaneous implanted insulin pumps, Cochlea implants, older middle ear implants. (Teflon and gold implants are no problem).
Extra caution is needed for intra-operative installed metal clips and all types of artificial heart valves. Under certain circumstances we require a copy of the surgical report containing a precise description of the implanted materials.
Early pregnancy (3 months) is usually a contra-indication.
Should you not qualify for an MRI, computer tomography is available as an alternative in most cases.
We are available at your disposal to deal with questions in this area.

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How will the examination be done?

The x-ray technician positions the patient comfortably on the examination table, situating the area to be examined in a coil, which serves as a transmitter and receiver of radio waves.
The patient will be fitted with a headset to mitigate the noise created by the device, as well as an emergency ball placed in the hand, with which he or she can stop the examination instantly in case of an emergency. The patient and the x-ray technician may talk to each other by intercom at any time and the examination team always has full view of the patient.
The patient will be inserted into the scanning device either feet or head first, depending on the area to be examined. A normal examination takes about 40 minutes.
Occasionally a contrasting agent is injected into an arm vein during the examination, to strengthen the colour contrast between the blood vessels and the surrounding tissue.

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What do I feel during the examination?

The examination is completely painless. During the imaging, a knocking sound can be heard. The tight position in the scanning device is somewhat unpleasant, therefore we recommend you keep your eyes closed and try to relax. Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to keep the time to the minimum.

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Who assesses the examination results?

The radiologist assesses the images produced by the examination at a special workstation and creates a report of the results.
The images will be explained to you in a subsequent discussion with the physician.
At the conclusion, you may generally take away the report and the images (also as a CD). Your own physician (GP) will receive the examination report simultaneously by fax.

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What are the advantages compared to the risks?

Advantages: A single scan can portray the entire body.
Should there be anything noticeable in a body region, it can be further targeted and clarified.
The entire vascular system can be examined. A virtual colonoscopy can be done.
For instance, during the search for a bone deposit (metastases), the time-consuming radiation-linked skeletal measurement can be done away with.

Risks: No side effects are known.
MRI should be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy. During this time an ultrasound is preferable.
The examination may be problematic for a claustrophobic person.

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What to do if claustrophobic?

For claustrophobic patients we are now offering the Open MRI.

For more information about Open MRI, please click here.

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Where are the limitations of an MRI?

Computer tomography is more appropriate for the imaging of fine bone structures, as well as the exclusion of a fresh hemorrhage in the head.

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