Magnetic Resonance Imaging: The Cost Factor

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be described as a non-invasive medical test which helps physicians in diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. The technique utilizes an effective magnetic field, a computer and radio frequency pulses for producing comprehensive images of soft tissues, organs, bones as well as other internal body parts. Thereafter, these images could be copied to any CD or printed, transmitted electronically or examined over a computer screen. Moreover, the technology does not utilize ionizing radiations such as X-rays.

Detailed images taken through MRI enables physicians in the evaluation of different body parts for determining the presence of specific diseases which might not be examined adequately through other imaging techniques like computed tomography (known as CAT or CT scanning), ultrasound or X-rays.

Depending upon the requirements of the procedure, the cost of magnetic resonance imaging ranges from $600-$1000. Moreover, complex scans and examinations that require the injection of contrast materials could be more costly. Generally, the MRI examinations are provided on a charge for service basis.

Though Magnetic Resonance Imaging is recognized for investigation of specified clinical conditions, it is not recommended for investigation of other conditions. Moreover, the devices required for performing the procedure add to the cost of medical resonance imaging.

Owing to the growing demand for MRI, its cost effectiveness as well as clinical value needs to be established for examination of ailments where its use is uncertain. For instance, intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging is costly. Here, the cost of a single system is between $2-3 million. Nevertheless, the use of this equipment for other traditional diagnostic imaging techniques is capable of compensating for the cost.

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