3T MRI stands for 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging. A 3T MRI scan is a procedure that uses radio waves and magnets to create detailed images of areas inside the body. In comparison to a regular MRI, a 3T MRI uses very powerful magnets which provide clearer and more complete images of organs and soft tissues in the body. These images help to show differences between the normal and abnormal tissues. A 3T MRI scan be used to take pictures of the brain, spine, bones, soft tissues, and blood vessels.
What is Tesla?
Tesla is a unit of measurement which measures the strength of a magnetic field. A 3T MRI uses very strong and powerful magnets that produce a 3-tesla magnetic field which results in clearer and complete pictures of the organs of the body.
What is an MRI scan?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging method that uses strong magnetic fields, radio waves, and a computer to produce detailed images of the organs and tissues within the body.
How does a 3T MRI scan machine work?
A 3T MRI scan machine uses the same mechanism as a regular MRI machine. It consists of a large tube with a table in the middle, which allows the patient to slide in during the scan. The 3T MRI scanner contains more powerful magnets than a usual MRI scan machine that releases radio waves knocking the nuclei of the atoms in the body, out of their original position. As the nuclei realign into their normal position, they send out radio signals. The computer receives these signals and converts them to form a two-dimensional (2D) image of the part of the body. The image then appears on a viewing monitor for the doctor to see and evaluate further on.
Difference between 3T MRI and MRI
What is the difference between a 3T MRI scan and a regular MRI scan?
The working mechanism of a 3T MRI and a regular MRI scan is the same. The difference lies in the magnets that are used. A 3T MRI scan uses very strong magnets which are twice as powerful as the magnetic fields used in regular MRI scanners. This makes the 3T MRI scan more beneficial in many ways. Some of these benefits include –
- Clearer and more complete images
- Visibility of organs and structures that cannot be seen with a regular MRI scan
- High-quality scans to evaluate smaller abnormalities in the body
- Extremely efficient leading to shorter scan time
- No loud noises from the scanner
- More relaxed experience as it provides more space and is less confined (reduces sedation needs for people with claustrophobia)
- Accurate information for further diagnosis or treatment
- Can detect diseases, like Prostate Cancer
3T MRI scan uses
What is a 3T MRI scan used to diagnose?
A 3T MRI scan can be used to examine different parts of the body, including :
- Soft tissues
- Blood vessels
If you have a medical condition with any of the above organs, then your doctor would recommend you to get a 3T MRI scan done for proper diagnosis. If you are from Mumbai, India, then get tested at a nearby lab with LabsAdvisor.com.
Following are the types of 3T MRI scans a person can get :
I. 3T MRI scan of the brain
A 3T MRI scan of the brain can be useful in evaluating problems related to the nervous system of the body. It can help look for :
- Brain damage/injury
- Blood clot in the brain
- Infections in/around the brain
II. 3T MRI scan of the bones
A 3T MRI scan can also be used to examine the bones and joints of the body. It can help look for :
- Bone damage/injury
- Bone disease(s)
- Osteonecrosis (bone death)
III. 3T MRI scan of the abdomen
A 3T MRI scan of the abdomen can be used to examine all the organs that help to break down the food and get rid of the waste from the body. These organs include the stomach, intestines, liver, and bladder.
A 3T MRI scan of the abdomen can help in the following ways –
- To check the cause of pain or swelling
- To check for blocked blood vessels
- To check the functioning of the organs
- To check for any abnormalities
- To guide ongoing procedures/treatments
3T MRI scan preparations
How can I prepare for a 3T MRI scan?
There are a few things you should let your doctor know before you get a 3T MRI scan, including :
- If you have existing health issues, such as kidney or liver disease
- If you have undergone surgery
- If you have any specific allergies
- If you have any breathing issues
- If you are or might be, pregnant
- If you have any tattoos or piercings
- If you have any implants
- If you are carrying any medical devices
Metal is not allowed inside the 3T MRI scan room. All items that contain any type of metal must be removed, which include –
- Mobile phone
- Hearing aids
- Dentures (false teeth)
- Underwire (bras)
- Belts and buckles
- Any item of clothing that may contain metallic thread(s)
This precaution is taken because the magnetic field in the machine attracts metal which can lead these items to become hot and burn the patient during the 3T MRI scan.
3T MRI scan procedure
What is the procedure for a 3T MRI scan?
On arrival at the hospital, the 3T MRI scan procedure usually takes place in the following manner :
- The patient is asked to change into a medical gown, depending upon the part of the body getting tested
- All metal items are asked to be removed (as mentioned above)
- A form is filled out by the patient in order to take safety measures. The patient is free to discuss any concerns with the doctor
- The patient enters the scan room where the doctor helps the patient onto the scanner table to lie down, comfortably
- The 3T MRI scan will then begin
3T MRI scan side effects
It is rare that a patient will experience any sort of side effect post a 3T MRI scan.
However, there have been some reports of symptoms like –
- Sensory symptoms – headaches, dizziness, body pain, and a metallic taste in the mouth
- Pregnant women – Women who are pregnant should not get any type of MRI scan during their first trimester unless it is of utmost importance to do so.
How much time does a 3T MRI scan take?
A 3T MRI scan is a painless and safe procedure. Due to the advanced and upgraded technology of the 3 Tesla magnet, a 3T MRI scan can be completed in 15-20 minutes depending on the part of the body being tested and the number of images required.