The most accurate examinations of the spine are performed using MRI . The device interacts with hydrogen atoms in the diagnosed organs through a magnetic field, receives signals and gives a detailed picture of the state of the vertebrae, discs and surrounding tissues.
Why do you need to undergo magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine
A small excursion into the features of this spine will help to understand this. The thoracic region is a rigid frame in which the twelve vertebrae, ribs and sternum are united. The vertebrae and ribs are connected by joints, the ribs on both sides in front are fused with the sternum.
The vertebrae of this section suffer less from injuries, their movements relative to each other are very limited. However, painful phenomena in this area of the back are quite common.
Dystrophic pathologies of the column arise in connection with metabolic disorders, weakening of the nutrition of the discs. Lifting weights with incorrect load distribution also leads to changes in the discs and to the prerequisites for osteochondrosis.
Problems with the joints of the spine are one of the reasons for the narrowing of the holes through which nerve fibers exit. Squeezing them leads to pain in the area of the organs for which they are responsible.
Often painful sensations in the stomach, heart, pancreas, liver, kidneys are caused by problems in the thoracic spine. The MRI procedure can clarify the cause of the pain and establish a diagnosis with great accuracy.
For a complete picture, the patient may be advised to do an additional examination of the organ where the pain is projected, for example, a cardiogram.
What will the MRI show
The study will provide information on the state of the hard and soft tissues of the thoracic region, reveal the presence of pathologies in it.
With the help of MRI, the following diseases are diagnosed:
- congenital anomalies of the vertebrae,
- disorders in the development of the spinal cord from birth,
- spinal injury
- degenerative changes in discs, vertebrae,
- narrowing of the spinal cord canal,
- ankylosing spondylitis,
- thoracic education,
- hemorrhages, stroke and other vascular problems of the spinal cord,
- herniated discs, protrusion ,
- spondylolisthesis ,
- pathology of the spine of an infectious nature,
- violation of the anatomical location of the vertebrae,
- deformities of the spinal column.
Systematic pain in the back is a signal of the need to establish the cause of this phenomenon. Diagnostics of the thoracic region should be done in the most informative way – MRI.
The indication for examination may be the following signs:
- heart-like pain
- discomfort between the shoulder blades,
- chest pain that is shingles in nature,
- lumbago in the area of intercostal nerves (intercostal neuralgia),
- feeling of stiffness in the thoracic region,
- feeling of numbness in the chest
- painful sensations in the epigastric region, aggravated after physical work,
- discomfort in the liver area,
- dysfunction of the genitals.
Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region is disguised as symptoms of functional disorders of organs that are subordinate to the corresponding nerves, which are experiencing oppression. “Disease-chameleon” artfully misleads patients and narrow specialists to whom they turn.
An incomplete list of diseases, the symptoms of which can be triggered by osteochondrosis:
- peptic ulcer,
- renal colic,
- angina pectoris,
- heart attack.
If the disease is already observed by specialists, then the indication for diagnosis may be:
- Clarification of studies carried out by other methods, for example, X-ray.
- Tracking the effectiveness of treatment.
- Preparing for surgery.
Contraindications for diagnosis
- Metal objects in the patient’s body: all kinds of implants, pacemakers, piercings, metal crowns and others.
- The patient’s weight is one hundred and thirty kilograms or more.
- If a person cannot lie still.
- Children – the age of seven is considered acceptable, so that they do not move during the session. In other cases, sedatives are used.
- With claustrophobia, diagnostics with closed-type installations is not indicated.
- If necessary, studies using a contrast agent:
- not prescribed for pregnant women and nursing mothers,
- not indicated for patients with serious renal disease,
- do not do in case of a negative reaction of the body to a contrast agent.
How to prepare for the procedure
- Before the study, it is necessary to leave behind the zone of the magnetic field:
- all metal objects: jewelry, coins and so on,
- devices that can react to the device’s influence: mobile phones, hearing aids, cards and other such items.
- When diagnosing with a contrast agent, do not eat four hours before the procedure.
- The patient undresses to his underwear, the clinic can offer special disposable clothing.
- The person is comfortably arranged on a horizontal table, fixing his position with belts and special rollers. The study is performed while lying on your back.
- The table enters the tunnel of the closed device. If the installation is open, then the horizontal table enters it so that the device hangs over the chest at a comfortable distance from the person, and the rest of the body is outside of it.
- Requirement: lie still.
- You can contact the operator if necessary.
The procedure is painless and does not bring any discomfort. Some devices make noise, it does not add any inconvenience, because it is not loud. The duration of the study is twenty minutes, if contrasting is used – forty minutes.