The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003

  The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003     
  The Uses of MRI

MRI of the neck. The red arrow indicates a disk herniation bulging into the spinal canal.

Today, MRI is used to examine all organs of the body. This modality is especially valuable for detailed imaging of the brain and the spinal cord, for example in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Examination with MRI is outstanding for diagnosis and follow-up of the disease. MRI is the best modality to demonstrate the pathological MS-plaques. Another example is early demonstration of encephalitis.

MRI examinations are very important in detection, diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up of many diseases. For instance, the images can reveal the limits of a tumour, contributing to a more precise surgery and radiation therapy. MRI has become a routine method during the last decades, and the method is still in rapid development. This modality is often superior to other imaging techniques. MRI has replaced several invasive modes of examination and thereby reduced the discomfort and the risk of complications for many patients.

In patients with prolonged back pain, it is important to see if the pain is caused by pressure on a nerve or on the spinal cord. MRI examinations have replaced previous methods.

  MRI of a patient with herpes encephalitis (white areas).   MRI of a patient with MS (multiple sclerosis). The white round spots represent characteristic MS-plaques.
Nobel Poster from the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, web adapted by Nobel Web

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