Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) takes detailed pictures of internal body structures without the use of radiation or radioactive substances of any kind. The patient is placed in a magnetic field while harmless radio waves are turned on and off. This causes the body to emit its own weak radio signals which vary according to tissue characteristics. These signals are then picked up by a sensitive antenna and fed to a computer, and the detailed images of the body are interpreted by trained radiologists.
With incredible accuracy, MRI can detect many abnormalities which CT scanning and X-rays cannot, especially those involving soft tissue. MRI reduces the need for biopsies, exploratory surgery, and other diagnostic procedures which carry associated risk.