MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. This medical imaging technique uses powerful magnetic field-emitting radio waves to create detailed pictures of areas inside your body. The MRI produces soft-tissue images and is used to distinguish normal, healthy soft tissue from diseased tissue. In many cases, an MRI can lead to early detection and treatment of medical problems without invasive procedures such as surgery or a biopsy.
Depending on what information your doctor needs, an MRI scan may require the use of a contrast agent, a medical substance used to give contrast to structures or fluids in the body. This helps physicians see certain structures in your body.