Wrist MRI is a highly informative method of studying the wrist joint, which is based on measuring the electromagnetic response of the nuclei of hydrogen atoms under the influence of radio waves in a magnetic field. The technique allows you to visualize all the structures of the studied area, recognize bone defects, assess the condition of cartilage, muscles, ligaments and vessels located in the joint area. It is used for inflammatory processes, fresh injuries, the consequences of traumatic injuries, benign and malignant neoplasia, developmental abnormalities, limited mobility and pain syndrome of unknown origin.
Magnetic resonance imaging is indicated for inflammatory and destructive joint lesions, for example, arthritis, osteomyelitis of the wrist bones, articular ends of the radius and ulna. Wrist MRI is also recommended for patients with synovial disorders in the form of bursitis, tenosynovitis and synovitis. The technique is able to detect in a timely manner the development of aseptic necrosis, compression of nerve endings, epiphyseolysis in children and ungrown fractures of the wrist bones in patients of any age.
The study is carried out in case of suspected damage to the tendons and ligaments of the wrist joint area. This diagnostic manipulation is often carried out when benign or malignant tumors are suspected. In such cases, wrist MRI is performed using a contrast agent, which allows you to clearly visualize the networks of vessels involved in the blood supply of the neoplasm. In addition, the procedure is used at the stage of preoperative preparation and is used to monitor the long-term results of radical intervention.
A contraindication to scanning is the first trimester of pregnancy, in the subsequent period of gestation, the study is carried out with caution and only if there are strong indications. MRI is absolutely contraindicated in patients with implanted metal structures and electronic devices (neurostimulators, heart rate drivers, prostheses and implants). The procedure is undesirable if there is a fear of confined spaces and hyperkinesis. The study with contrast is not performed in case of allergy to contrast and in case of renal insufficiency.
Since the procedure involves the use of electromagnetic fields, the patient must get rid of all metal objects before the examination: jewelry, removable dentures, etc. Patients suffering from claustrophobia are recommended to take a sedative beforehand. In some cases, the study is carried out under anesthesia (in childhood, in the presence of mental disorders). There are no special recommendations regarding the diet, before contrast MRI, you should refrain from eating for several hours.
Methodology of conducting
Magnetic resonance examination can be performed in two types of devices: closed and open. When conducting wrist MRI, open devices are usually used in which only the distal part of the patient’s limb is in the magnetic field. Before the start of diagnostic manipulation, the patient lies down on the couch. Contrast is pre-injected after a skin test. Scanning is absolutely painless. Some patients may feel a slight heating of the soft tissues of the wrist, which is considered a normal reaction of the body to a magnetic field.
The average duration of wrist MRI is about 30 minutes. If unpleasant sensations appear, the patient can contact a specialist using a microphone. Complications are extremely rare and usually occur in the presence of metal implants in the body of the subject. In contrast studies, allergic reactions are possible, but allergies to gadolinium salts are much less common than to iodine-containing agents used during CT. The patient can receive the results of the magnetic resonance examination in 1-3 hours in the form of a series of electronic images and a detailed description of the wrist joint with an indication of the revealed pathology. The final diagnosis is established by the attending physician on the basis of the clinical picture, MRI data and other studies.