Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the thoracic spine
Magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine is one of the most promising and rapidly improving methods of modern diagnostics. At the same time, the doctor gets the opportunity not only to investigate structural and pathological changes but also to evaluate the physicochemical, pathophysiological processes of the entire thoracic spine as a whole or its individual structures.
Developmental defects of the spine are more common in the cervical and lumbosacral regions. But they are not rare in the thoracic spine. In the thoracic region, along with traumatic changes in the vertebral bodies, intervertebral discs, and spinal cord, congenital malformations can be observed. When performing magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine, the thoracic vertebrae are a shapeless bone mass. In such patients, the thoracic region is limited in mobility, there is scoliosis or kyphoscoliosis of the thoracic spine.
Magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine makes it possible to obtain a series of thin sections, build a three-dimensional reconstruction of the area under study, highlight the vasculature, and even individual nerve trunks and vessels passing in the projection of the thoracic spine.
Such a reconstruction provides invaluable assistance to the surgeon in planning an operation on the thoracic spine and spinal cord and for subsequent postoperative control.
Early diagnosis with the help of magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine for osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine and intercostal neuralgia allows timely treatment of diseases of the thoracic spine and spinal cord at this level.
The ability, using magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine, to simultaneously demonstrate the spine itself and soft tissues around it over a large area without the introduction of contrast agents and without the use of ionizing radiation (X-ray), to determine the localization and size of tumors, the cartilaginous surface of joints, muscles, and tendons.
Currently, magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine has come to the fore in the diagnosis of most diseases of the thoracic spine, pushing aside such methods as X-ray and computed tomography (CT) of the spine.
In what cases can an examination of the magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine be prescribed:
- osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine
- intercostal neuralgia
- protrusion and herniated discs of the thoracic spine
- metastases of tumor cells at the level of the thoracic spine
- spinal stenosis
- thoracic spine injury (fracture, dislocation, or instability of the spine)
- anomalies in the development of the thoracic spine (diastematomyelia, etc.)
Our patients are offered to undergo an MRI scan of the thoracic spine using an apparatus with a magnetic field of 3.0 T (Tesla). It is also possible to conduct MRI with intravenous contrast (Omniscan contrast) to increase the visual difference between healthy tissue and tumor. Weight restriction (for a patient with a large weight) during magnetic resonance imaging - up to 200 kg.