cervical  magnetic resonance imaging, cervical spine, spinal surgery, birth defects of the spine" /> cervical  magnetic resonance imaging, cervical spine, spinal surgery, birth defects of the spine" />
 
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Test Details
Test Code:RA0199
Test Name:Cervical MRI scan
Test Details & Preparation
A cervical MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses energy from strong magnets to create pictures of the part of the spine that runs through the neck area (cervical spine). Single MRI images are called slices. The images can be stored on a computer or printed on film. One exam produces many images.

You will wear a hospital gown or clothes without metal zippers or snaps (such as sweatpants and a t-shirt). Some types of metal can cause blurry images. You will lie on a narrow table that slides into a tunnel-shaped scanner. Some exams use a special dye (contrast). Most of the time, you will get the dye through a vein in your arm or hand before the test. The dye can also be given through an injection. The dye helps the radiologist see certain areas more clearly. During the MRI, the person who operates the machine will watch you from another room. The test most often lasts 30-60 minutes, but may take longer.

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 - 6 hours before the scan. Tell your doctor if you are afraid of close spaces (have claustrophobia). You may be given a medicine to help you feel sleepy and less anxious. Your doctor may suggest an "open" MRI, in which the machine is not as close to the body.

Before the test, tell your healthcare provider if you have brain aneurysm clips, certain types of artificial heart valves, pacemaker, cochlear implants, kidney disease or dialysis, etc.

An MRI exam causes no pain. You will need to lie still. Too much movement can blur MRI images and cause errors.

The most common reasons for this test are severe neck or arm pain that does not get better after treatment and neck pain along with leg weakness, numbness, or other symptoms.

A cervical MRI scan may also be done for birth defects of the spine, infection that involves your spine, injury or trauma to the spine, multiple sclerosis, severe scoliosis or cancer in the spine. MRI usually works better than CT scan in diagnosing these problems. A cervical MRI may also be done before spinal surgery.

A normal result means the part of the spine that runs through your neck and nearby nerves appear normal. The most common reasons for an abnormal result are cervical radiculopathy, spinal stenosis and abnormal wear of the bones and cartilage in the neck.
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