MRI spleen is a technique for obtaining layered images of an organ by scanning the examination area with radio frequency pulses in an electromagnetic field. MRI allows us to judge the topography, morphological structure of the spleen, surrounding soft tissues and vessels and the presence of pathological processes in them. It is a highly informative tool for diagnosing organ malformations, traumatic injuries, splenomegaly, circulatory disorders, oncological processes, etc. The study is performed independently or as part of an MRI of the abdominal organs, and may require the introduction of an MR contrast.
The range of indications for examination is very wide. Splenomegaly becomes the most common reason for the appointment of an MRI spleen. The enlargement of the organ may be associated with inflammatory processes, injuries and tumors. Most pathologies of the spleen lead to its enlargement. Scanning is required when the ultrasound data are not accurate enough or incomplete.
MRI spleen is used to confirm Gaucher’s disease, and is also required in the process of diagnosing portal hypertension caused by cirrhosis of the liver and other causes. The pictures clearly show abnormalities of the spleen. In addition, the examination is prescribed to detect benign hemangiomas and malignant tumors of the spleen. The detected neoplasms may be metastases of neoplasias of other localization, in this case, MRI is of great importance in assessing the prevalence of the oncological process.
The high accuracy of the study makes it possible to detect the morphological basis of hematological diseases: sickle cell anemia, leukemia, etc. The examination can be performed with typhoid fever, other inflammatory and infectious processes in the abdominal cavity. Pain in the spleen with irradiation in the back is an indication for the appointment of an MRI, if the ultrasound does not provide information explaining the patient’s complaints. Scanning is required when hemorrhagic rashes or elements unrelated to injuries appear on the body. At the stage of therapeutic measures, an MRI spleen is prescribed to monitor the effectiveness of treatment, for example, after removal of a tumor or a course of leukemia therapy.
An absolute contraindication to the examination is any metal elements in the patient’s body. MRI spleen is not performed in the presence of complex electronic devices, such as an artificial pacemaker, a neurostimulator, a hearing aid, because their work can be disrupted in a magnetic field. The procedure is contraindicated in the first trimester of pregnancy, at a later date it is prescribed with caution.
MRI is not performed in patients in serious condition due to the need for constant monitoring of vital signs. The study with contrast is not carried out in patients with chronic renal insufficiency and nursing women. If a patient with an identified allergy is expected to have low information content of native MRI, it is preferable to choose another diagnostic procedure. MRI of patients with epilepsy is performed under general anesthesia if absolutely necessary.
1-2 days before the procedure, a diet is indicated that excludes black bread, legumes, cereals, dairy and other products that contribute to increased gas formation. MRI spleen is performed 4-5 hours after eating. Two hours before the scan, activated charcoal is prescribed, an antispasmodic drug is taken an hour before the procedure. If an MRI with contrast is planned, kidney function is preliminarily evaluated. Allergological tests with a contrast agent are also carried out.
Methodology of conducting
The tomograph is a hollow cylinder with magnetic rings. In the center of the tube is a couch on which the patient is located during the scan. The average duration of an MRI spleen is 30-40 minutes. Some of the images are taken while holding your breath, as the radiologist reports via a two-way communication system. During the administration of contrast fluid (gadolinium and its compounds), the subject may feel warmth and heat in the body, dry mouth, dizziness, which pass within a few minutes.
Complications of MRI spleen are possible in the presence of metal elements in the body and in the case of chronic renal failure. Allergic reactions to gadolinium are extremely rare. The result of the examination is prepared within a few hours. The patient receives X-rays and a written radiologist’s report. Additionally, it is possible to record data on a digital medium.