Cary Medical Center was the first hospital in northern Maine to offer fixed base Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) services, a medical diagnostic technique that creates images of the body. While CT scanners use x-rays to acquire images, the MRI unit uses radio frequency signals and strong magnetic fields to obtain two dimensional cross-sections of tissue and three dimensional reconstructions. Even though the magnetic fields are 10 thousand times greater than the earth’s, the patient will not feel any of the force generated by the 1.5 ton magnet.
The MRI is best suited for soft tissues like muscles, organs, and veins. The radio waves bounce back to highly sophisticated computers that interpret the information as an image. Different types of tissue send back different signals; even the slightest variations between healthy and abnormal tissue can be detected.