Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive, painless scanning procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves and computer technology to take images of different body organs and their structures. MRI can be done for most of the parts of the body, and it can cover big sections of the body in a comparatively shorter time. MRI scans are highly beneficial in identifying many different abnormalities and diseases, from hip joint damages to cancerous tumors. They are also very beneficial for studying the brain, spinal cord, heart, and eyes. An MRI scan usually takes 30 to 60 minutes based on the size of the organ/area to be scanned and the number of images being captured.

While other testing methods can occasionally prove unsuccessful in finding certain conditions, the MRI can precisely observe a lot of diseases and abnormalities even in the initial stages. This enables doctors to diagnose efficiently and make sure the patient receives an appropriate course of treatment.

Doctors also use MRI to monitor the treatment for chronic conditions like tumors, heart disease, and liver disease. An MRI can show any changes in the shape or size of the organ, lesion, or tumor as the doctor compares previous MRIs to the current ones to evaluate whether there have been any positive or negative changes.

Unlike CT scans and X-rays, which are typically better at imaging bones, MRI offers better soft-tissue contrast. This kind of scan can distinguish more efficiently between fat, muscle, water, and other soft-tissue structures like cartilage and ligaments, and it is the standard analytical test for the nervous system and brain problems like spinal cord lesions and multiple sclerosis.

MRI is also useful when examining a joint condition like arthritis or a sports injury. An MRI gives information regarding how blood moves through certain organs and vessels, letting physicians identify any abnormalities with blood circulation like congestion or blockages.

One significant advantage of an MRI scan is that unlike X-rays, PET scans, and CT scans, it is free from exposure to radiation. This means MRI is safer for patients who are more susceptible to the radiation effects; e.g. infants and pregnant women.

MRI also has the advantage over X-ray since it can recognize swelling and inflammation. It can also demonstrate both cross-sectional images and three-dimensional images of the body. In cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) following an accident, MRI can be combined with susceptibility-weighted Imaging (SWI)  to identify cerebral and cranial problems allowing for early diagnosis and aggressive management.