Why MRI?

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Please see some of the most common reasons that your pet would need an MRI.  

MRI has the advantage of being able to accurately identify and characterize abnormalities in soft tissue that are not detectable using other imaging modalities such as ultrasound, CT, or myelography. As a result, MRI is often the modality of choice for the diagnosis of patients with unexplained symptoms such as:
  • Seizures
  • Neck or back pain
  • Abnormal nasal discharge
  • Soft tissue masses
  • Vestibular symptoms
  • Paresis
  • Lameness
  • Ataxia
  • Behavioral changes

Specific indications for MRI include:

  • Anal gland adenocarcinoma
  • Bladder carcinoma
  • Soft tissue carcinoma
  • Primary bone tumor
  • Prostate carcinoma
  • Uterine neoplasma
  • Intracranial aneurysm
  • Intracranial arteriovenous malformation
  • Evaluation of thrombosis, including aortic, caval, and portal vein (subhead) Spine and Spinal Cord
  • C1-C2 subluxation and basilar invagination
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Discospondylitis
  • Intervertebral disk disease
  • Post-op recurrence of intervertebral disk disease
  • Disk pathology o Annular tear o Dehydration o Definitive classification of herniation (annular vs. central, contained vs. non-contained, free fragment)
  • Diseases of the spinal cord
  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Spinal cord tumor
  • End plate fractures with edema
  • Epidural hematoma
  • Hydromyelia/syringomyelia
  • Metastases
  • Neoplasm
  • Stenosis: lumbar, cervical, neck
  • Thoracic spine
  • Trauma, fracture/dislocations of cervical or thoracic spine with cord compression and hemorrhage
  • Myelitis **Note: MR myelogram sequences are typically added to spine studies**
  • Thoracic mediastinal masses
  • Cardiac masses
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Soft tissue abnormalities
  • Metastases screening
  • Primary or metastatic lung carcinoma
Head & Neck
  • Seizures
  • Brain tumor
  • Suspected vascular event
  • Cranial neuropathies/hydrocephalus
  • Optic nerve lesions
  • Progressive neurological deficit
  • Trauma prognosis, shearing injuries
  • Vascular malformations
  • Visual/hearing loss, brain lesions
  • Nasal masses
  • Neck masses
  • Oral masses
  • Thyroid masses
  • Salivary masses
  • Pituitary macroadenoma
  • Meningioma
  • Suspect or rule out foreign body
  • Avascular necrosis: hip, shoulder, wrist, foot, bone marrow
  • Metastatic disease
  • Neoplasm detection/staging
  • Occult osseous injury, bone contusion/occult stress fracture
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Knee, meniscus tears, ligament tears, chondral & osteochondral defects, patellar tendon tears
  • Shoulder, ganglion cyst, rotator cuff tendinosis/tendinitis, rotator cuff tear
  • Lymphoma and multiple myeloma
  • Primary bone tumors (in conjunction with bone scintigraphy)
  • PVC—thrombosis or tumor
  • Liver, hemangiomastic, metastases, thrombosis or hepatic vein, portal vein
  • Pancreatic masses/tumor
  • Porto-systemic shunts
  • Adrenal masses
  • Hepatic masses
  • Renal masses (in conjunction with renal scintigraphy)
  • Splenic masses
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