The Institute maintains its own Intersocietal Accreditation Commission accredited MRI center, staffed by specialized neurologists and a neuro-radiologist trained in understanding brain tumors, herniated discs, signs of multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders.
The MRI procedure is used for all parts of the body and is effective in the clinical evaluation of the following conditions:
- Traumatic Injuries
- Eye Abnormalities
- Back and Neck Pain
- Tumor Detection
- Liver Abnormalities
- Knee and Shoulder Injuries
- Elbow and Ankle Pain
- Facial/Neck Abnormalities
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Blood Flow and Vessel Disorders/TIA
MRI is now commonly used as the primary diagnostic tool in many neurological disorders.
MRI is a way to see the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and other soft tissues of the body, as well as the arteries and veins. MRI has revolutionized the practice of neurology, because this technique can show “lesions,” or abnormal tissue, in a way never before possible, as in Multiple Sclerosis.
With MRI, neurologists don’t have to “guess” anymore at the location of abnormalities, such as brain tumors, herniated discs, or multiple sclerosis plaques, because the MRI can demonstrate them with such accuracy.
The Imaging Center at Consultants in Neurology is equipped with an open MRI, capable of scanning even claustrophobic and large patients in comfort, as well as digital X-Ray to evaluate the skeletal system, both with and without weight bearing, and Optical Coherence Tomography, to evaluate diseases of the eye.
How MRI Works
MRI produces images of the soft tissue anatomy without the use of x-rays, but usually cannot be done under weight bearing conditions, and does not show nerve conduction and other “electrical” abnormalities, and thus must be coupled with Nerve Conduction/Electromyogram testing. MRI uses the physical properties of magnetic fields, radio waves and computers to generate images of the soft tissues within the body in any plane. Various tissue characteristics are revealed through this process and translated into different contrast levels on the image. The technique can also look at blood flow in the arteries and veins. If MRI contrast (different from the iodinated contrast used in CT and X-Ray) needs to be used, that contrast can examine blood-brain barrier breakdown, as is found in “active” MS and tumors.
The MRI procedure typically lasts from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the type of information required by the ordering physician. The patient easily can be seen by the technologist at all times, and can talk with the technologist during the exam. In certain instances, a contrast agent may be administered to enhance the study. No special preparation is required prior to an MR exam. Music and other available stations help make the experience a pleasant one for patients, and pleasing “aromas” can be effective in a quieting effect.
Why Our Own MRI and Imaging Center?
We at Rowe Neurology have special expertise in the field of Neuroimaging. We know MRI is one of the most useful tools available to neurologists today. But the ordering physician, in our case Neurologists, must know how to use that tool. Most MRI exams today are 1) not ordered by physicians and providers who are imaging specialists and 2) done in a a Hospital Outpatient Department, where they cost an average of 3 times what they cost in independent facilities. They are then interpreted by physicians who never see the patient, and the ordering physician, who sees a patient, reads a report to that patient, never showing them their images.
We at the RNI believe the MRI exam is not nearly as useful, carried out in this way, as it could be if 1) the specific MRI and need for it is chosen properly by the treating physician 2) it is carried out properly in an accredited MRI facility with the proper programs to answer specific clinical questions 3)it is carried out by knowledgeable and MRI certified technicians 4) it is interpreted by Neuroimaging certified specialists (in the case of nervous system MRI exams) and 5) the MRI images themselves, as well as their results, are discussed with patients. We believe only when all these conditions are met, can any exam, including an MRI, be used by a treating physician to arrive at an accurate diagnosis, in an attempt to improve a patient’s quality of life.
Because of the potential harmful effects associated with the interaction of a magnetic field and metal objects previously inserted into the body, a patient should check with his or her physician or MRI technologist if any brain, ear, eye or other surgeries have been performed prior to the exam, or if any of the following are present:
- Neuro-stimulator (Tens-unit)
- Metal Implants
- Aneurysm Clips of an older type
- Surgical Staples recently inserted
- Implanted Drug Infusion Devices
- Foreign Metal Objects in the Eye
- Shrapnel or Bullet Wounds
- Permanent Eyeliner
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a set (or a “sequence”) of films/pictures run on MRI equipment that is able to show blood flow in the arteries and veins of the body, without injection of dye. MRA can show whether the arteries supplying blood to the brain are open. It has been a major advance in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke. The process of administering an MRA is very similar to an MRI.
Location of the Imaging Center
The Imaging Center is located at 8550 Marshall Drive, Lenexa, KS, just off I-35 at 87th Street, as a part of the Rowe Neurology Institute.