Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tattoos and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

I was watching "House, M.D." on tv. The episode was the one where Dr. House, played by Hugh Laurie, was working on a patient who is a death row inmate. The thing struck me was that this huge person was sent through an MRI screaming in pain because of the tattoos he had all over his body. So what's the deal with MRI and tattoos?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the process which doctors can view what is inside our bodies to diagnose whatever ailments we have. An MRI machine is like a powerful magnet that scans through every part of the body point by point thus providing images inside the body. The important component in the MRI is the magnet. The magnet is so powerful that even a small object like a paperclip in MRI room is projectiled all over if left during a scan. People with metal implants like braces and pacemakers are not allowed to undergo an MRI scan.

The ink used in the tattoos often contains metals. The powerful magnetic force would react with the metal pigments in the ink thus creating a burning sensation in the skin. Heavy tattoos also would distort images produced by the scan. There were some tattooed patients who did not feel any discomfort while having MRI scans. So, check with your doctor before undergoing a scan if you have a tattoo.


Anonymous Jam said...

Hello! That's very interesting to know. Thanks for the info.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 12:44:00 AM  
Anonymous talk said...

hey. Thanks for the visit. Hope you would add me to your links...:-)

Sunday, August 20, 2006 9:05:00 AM  

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