MRI bladder scan is a diagnostic technique that allows for a non-invasive assessment of the structure and function of the bladder by registering nuclear magnetic resonance and forming three-dimensional images. Indications for MRI may be abnormalities of organ development, tumors, urolithiasis, foreign bodies, urination disorders, evaluation of the results of surgical or chemoradiotherapy. The procedure is performed against the background of a filled bladder, sometimes in combination with an MRI of the kidneys.
An indication for an MRI bladder scan is the presence of clinical symptoms of its lesion against the background of low diagnostic value or insufficient information content of the results obtained using other techniques (radiography, ultrasound, cystoscopy, etc.). Symptoms that require examination of the bladder include:
- pain in the suprapubic region
- violation of urination in the form of pollakiuria, nocturia, delay
- the presence of mucus, blood and purulent masses in the urine
- feeling of a “full bladder” after emptying it
- enlargement of regional lymph nodes.
Also, an MRI bladder scan is indicated for
- injuries in the pelvic region and suspected organ rupture
- in the presence of congenital anomalies
- to establish the nature (good or malignancy) of the tumor identified by other methods
- as preoperative preparation to determine the volume of the upcoming operation.
Absolute contraindications to MRI are:
- the presence of electronic devices and metal foreign bodies in the patient’s body (vascular clips, artificial heart rate driver, steel hip and other joints; orthopedic plates, etc.);
- I trimester of pregnancy;
- the presence of tattoos made with paints with an admixture of metals.
- If contrast enhancement is necessary, this list also includes:
- allergy to radiopaque drugs;
- breastfeeding period;
- severe renal insufficiency.
Relative contraindications include:
- pregnancy in the II and III trimesters;
- mental illnesses with increased motor activity syndrome;
- fear of confined spaces;
- non-ferromagnetic implants (artificial heart valves, ceramic endoprostheses);
- severe cardiac or respiratory failure.
Also, most tomographs have a limit on the patient’s body weight up to 140-150 kg.
- if it is necessary to perform an MRI bladder scan with contrast, an analysis for creatinine and blood urea is performed in order to assess the excretory function of the kidneys;
- it is not recommended to eat a day before the study;
- immediately before starting the procedure, it is necessary to clean the intestines (with the help of a cleansing enema or laxatives).
Before performing an MRI bladder scan, the patient is asked to take off all metal objects: hairpins, removable dentures, jewelry, etc. In some clinics, special gowns are presented in order to exclude the influence of metal parts of the patient’s clothing on the quality of the images obtained. Children and persons who are unable to stay in a stationary state for a long time (with mental disorders or severe pain syndrome requiring a forced position from the patient), an anesthesiologist performs drug sedation.
Methodology of conducting
After preparing the patient, instructing and (if necessary) introducing contrast, the doctor moves the patient inside the magnet, moves to the next office and begins the study. The total duration of the procedure is from 20 to 40 minutes. During the MRI bladder scan, the patient may feel warmth or tingling in the groin area, with contrast enhancement – slight discomfort and a feeling of filling of the bladder. Most tomographs emit clacking or clicking of different volume. As a rule, an MRI bladder scan does not cause any complications or undesirable consequences with proper preparation of the patient. In rare cases, when using contrast, short-term headache, nausea or general malaise may be noted.
The result can be obtained already 40-60 minutes after the end of the study. A written or printed conclusion with or without a detailed description, a CD with the received images and their printed copies can be given to the patient “on hand”. MRI bladder scan allows you to diagnose the presence of benign and malignant tumors and concretions, their localization, structure and size, hernias of the bladder walls, ruptures, strictures, diverticula, Morion’s disease and developmental abnormalities, signs of inflammation, pathology of the sphincter and the initial part of the urethra, as well as distal sections of the ureters.