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Old 01-21-2008, 12:32 PM   #1
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What does an MRI with and without contrast mean?

I see this referenced often. Can someone please explain?

 
Old 01-21-2008, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: What does an MRI with and without contrast mean?

The contrast uses a colorant/dye introduced with an IV during your MRI. No contrast is just a MRI without an IV. The dye is used to be able to see more detail.

 
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: What does an MRI with and without contrast mean?

It can also be administered by a shot -- it depends on the facility. The contrast (radiologists would yell "It's NOT dye!!!" ) helps to determine whether a lesion is active (it will "light up") and sometimes can also detect smaller lesions that otherwise might not be seen. The contrast substance is called Gladolinium.

Last edited by Bearygood; 01-21-2008 at 01:20 PM.

 
Old 01-21-2008, 01:47 PM   #4
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Re: What does an MRI with and without contrast mean?

Thank you for the advice!

 
Old 01-21-2008, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: What does an MRI with and without contrast mean?

JLbrow, usually when the MRI is done with and without contrast, they will do the whole series of films as usual, then pull you out and administer the "dye" or contrasting solution (as Bearygood said, sometimes as an IV in the arm- completely painless and takes 20 seconds) then they put you back in the machine and repeat a few of the series...usually an additional 10 minutes or so...
MoSt people do not react to the contrast, a few do experience nausea or dizziness, which usually passes quickly. It is NOT the same "dye' used in a CT scan machine, which is usually iodine based...
Not only does the contrast help to pinpoint what is active, but it also helps to explain if a doctor thinks you might be having a relapse...active lesions= new lesions, thus either relapse, or progression.
Hope that helps.
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