What an MRI of the cervical spine can show: preparation and prices

The upper spine is the most mobile. For neck movements, it is required that in this section there was sufficient mobility of the vertebrae. In the spine, it is the cervical region that is most vulnerable to injury.

Arteries pass through the transverse processes of the vertebrae of the neck. They take part in the blood supply to the brain.

If instability appears in the cervical vertebrae, it can significantly affect the state of health. Often, the situation is completely fixable if a diagnosis is made and treated in time.

What is MRI of the cervical spine

If it is necessary to assess the state of the spine in the cervical spine, it is better to choose MRI, the most modern and informative diagnostic method. This method is popular because it painlessly and quickly identifies problems without causing harm to the body.

The device examines the state of soft tissues especially well. Allows you to determine an accurate diagnosis, replacing a lot of other methods, for example, by diagnosing the state of blood vessels and others.

Contrasting is done in the study of vascular diseases and with suspected oncology.

What can show

The device highlights diseases in the vertebrae, discs, vessels and tissues around them.

Hernias and other disorders in this part of the spine may not bother a person for a long period, therefore they remain undetected, which over time will have a bad effect on his health. Many problems are curable only in the early stages, so it is valuable to detect them at the time.

Diagnostics of the cervical spine shows:

  • abnormal arrangement of discs and vertebrae,
  • spinal stenosis,
  • herniated intervertebral discs,
  • dislocation, fracture, displacement of the vertebrae and other consequences of trauma,
  • osteochondrosis, deforming spondylosis,
  • tissue tumors, their metastases,
  • the state of blood vessels and diseases associated with problems in them,
  • lesions of the joints of the spine,
  • condition of nerve fibers,
  • anomalies in the development of the spine,
  • spinal cord diseases – myelitis, arachnoiditis and others.

The doctor will receive the required number of sections of problem areas, an image of the entire department in three projections, located mutually perpendicular and all the necessary details about the tissues adjacent to the vertebrae.

Indications for carrying out in the cervicothoracic region

For complaints of headaches of unknown origin, dizziness, discomfort in the neck and numbness in the hands, the doctor prescribes an MRI of the cervical and thoracic spine.


Also indications for tomography are:

  • Stiffness in the neck and other discomfort.
  • Injuries in the area of ​​the department. (Displacements of elements relative to each other, even minor ones, can cause serious discomfort.)
  • Loss of consciousness, visual impairment and other manifestations of cerebrovascular accident.
  • Osteochondrosis in order to identify the degree of disorders and determine the therapeutic prescription.
  • Previously detected diseases of the vertebrae, discs, nerve roots, muscle tissue, to clarify the diagnosis or see if the prescribed treatment is effective.
  • Before surgery by a neurosurgeon or on orthopedic issues.
  • If you suspect pathological processes in the spine: degenerative-dystrophic changes in tissues, osteomyelitis, spondylitis, all kinds of formations, including malignant, abnormal phenomena in the vessels, tuberculosis lesions of the column, stenosis of the spinal canal.
  • Short neck syndrome.


The MRI procedure is safe, it can be repeated as often as required to clarify the diagnosis, correct prescription and monitor the course of the disease.

No contraindications have been identified, except for:

  1. Due to the fact that the device works using a magnetic field, it is forbidden to carry out the procedure to patients who have devices embedded in the body.
    Such items include, for example:

    • pacemaker,
    • insulin pump,
    • cardioverter- defibrillator,
    • hearing aid
    • and other devices because the MRI procedure will affect them
  2. The procedure should not be performed if there are metal objects in the body, because the magnetic field will cause them to move and heat up. Therefore, patients with metal staples installed on the vessels, briquettes and other similar inclusions are not prescribed MRI.
  3. If the patient suffers from claustrophobia and an illness that prevents the person from lying still.
  4. For pregnant women, the restriction is that contrasting is not done so as not to harm the fetus.
  5. Breastfeeding mothers also undergo MRI, with the exception of contrast.
  6. Renal failure is a contraindication for contrast enhancement.
  7. Body weight over one hundred and thirty kilograms.

How is the study going

  1. The patient lies with his back on a mobile table.
  2. Its position is secured with rollers and belts.
  3. The table drives into the installation and will remain there until the end of the procedure. If the model of the tomograph is modern, then only the examined area (cervical spine) will get inside the device, and the rest of the body will be located behind the installation.
  4. Do not move during the procedure.
  5. A loved one may be present during the examination.
  6. Inside the cab there is ventilation, lighting and the ability to contact the operator.

The examination will take twenty minutes, with the contrast applied forty minutes.


It is necessary to prepare for magnetic resonance therapy if, during the examination of the cervical spine, it is necessary to diagnose the vessels of the neck or check for the detection of formations and therefore it is necessary to inject a contrast agent.

In this case, do not eat for 6 hours before the study. Stop drinking the liquid one hour before the check.

Before the procedure, they remove and do not take with them for examination all objects that react to a magnet: jewelry, keys, watches, hairpins, coins, piercings.

Leave hearing aid, wig, dentures, credit cards and mobile phone outside of the examination area.

Doctors give directions for examining the cervical spine: a vertebrologist and a radiologist.

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