Not fast enough?

12/01/2014 at 9:53 AM 1 comment

I received a call from a radiologist yesterday. Not usually a good thing for the patient. I braced myself to hear the bad news, a tumor ( or as schartzenager would say Tumah) and recommendations for further imaging. However this time I was in for a surprise, apparently the MRI machine which had been used in the first evaluation was not fast enough.

Not fast enough? I did not even know we were in a race. Fast enough compared to what? A turtle? After all, those MRI’s are heavy and can’t move very fast. Once past the surprise I learned that to image the part of the liver we were interested in, they needed to catch the contrast dye in the various parts of the circulation: as it enters the arteries, then the veins and finally out of the liver and these things happen fast. With the MRI (open because of claustrophobia) being made with a weaker magnet it could not attain the images quickly enough to differentiate the various phases of the dye. Old dog, new lesson.

Apparently the patient now had a choice, allow us to sedate her to be able to use a regular ‘donut’ shaped magnet or get a Cat Scan with its significant radiation and less detail. She chose the sedation.

Now I have a new concept regarding MRI, speed, not over ground as typically expressed but in processing power.

Personally, it is hard to understand the claustrophobic issue. It is not that you are in a tiny box, there is open space on either side; how do you get into a car without problems? Into bed with the covers tightly around you? In stores on black friday? In crowded movie theaters? I know, I am being insensitive, still….as my daughter would say, “just saying”.



Entry filed under: Doctor Musings, How things work, true story. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sharon Galloway  |  12/04/2014 at 12:20 PM

    oh no, those tiny little tunnels are too much for a broad shouldered person like me. And the noise! Ive had all kinds of MRI’s , been strapped into a “helmet” had to lay there forever… but I always get the open MRI. I could not deal with that tiny tunnel!


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