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Magnetic resonance tomography/imaging

Magnetic resonance tomography is a fast and harmless diagnostic method that involves no radiation. It provides exact information on pathological changes and has also proved to be highly suitable in preventative medicine.

Magnetic resonance tomography/imaging

General Information

More details on magnetic resonance tomography
The fact that water makes up almost two thirds of the human body makes magnetic resonance tomography possible. A magnetic field always aligns hydrogen atoms in the direction of the magnetic field, where they then send electromagnetic waves, which can be measured. Magnetic resonance tomography is a completely painless diagnostic method, with which illnesses can be detected in a precise way – even at an early stage.
Common applications
  • diagnostic method to image changes in the brain, cranial nerves, spinal cord, pituitary gland, eyes and inner ear
  • comprehensive imaging of all structures of the spinal column, bone marrow, intervertebral discs and ligament structures
  • exact imaging of joints: imaging of tendons, ligaments, meniscus, layers of cartilage, bursa and surrounding soft tissues
  • examinations of the mammary gland, additional examinations to differentiate between benign and malignant breast tumours and to evaluate the integrity of breast implants
  • examination of the liver, pancreas, kidneys and adrenal glands
  • non-invasive, painless examination and imaging of the gall bladder, bile ducts and urinary tract
  • special examinations of the small intestine for treatment-resistant, unclear abdominal pain and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases
  • diagnostics of the female and male pelvis, particularly the uterus, ovaries, testicles and penis
  • antenatal pelvic measurements, support in deciding whether a caesarean section is necessary
  • multiparametric imaging of the prostate gland and the mammary gland to rule out or provide evidence of breast or prostate cancer
  • examination of the heart and the vessels
  • magnetic resonance angiography for the imaging of all the vessels

 

Does magnetic resonance tomography require authorisation from a chief of medicine?
All MRT examinations used to require authorisation from a chief of medicine. The health insurance funds have recently made the requirement for authorisation from a chief of medicine less strict or even abolished it, which makes access to these examinations considerably easier. However, there are still large differences between the Austrian provinces and compulsory insurance funds. A rough overview is provided here:
IN VIENNA AND LOWER AUSTRIA
For those insured by the provincial health insurance fund (GKK), the health insurance fund for farmers (SVB), a company health insurance fund (BKK) or other non-Austrian EU insurance funds, no MRT examinations require authorisation if the referral was made by a doctor who has a contract with a health insurance fund. If the referral was made by a doctor who does not have a contract with a health insurance fund, the examinations require authorisation from a chief of medicine as previously. For those insured by the insurance fund for public service employees (BVA), the health insurance fund for employees of the City of Vienna (KFA) or the health insurance fund for the self-employed (SVG), all MRT examinations require authorisation from a chief of medicine without exception.
IN BURGENLAND
Those insured by the Burgenland health insurance fund do not require authorisation from a chief of medicine for MRT examinations if the referral was made by a specialist or a specialist outpatient department of a hospital.
IN STYRIA
No MRT examinations require authorisation for those insured by the Styrian health insurance fund, the BVA or the insurance fund for railways and mining (VAEB) if the referral was made by a specialist or on a specialist’s recommendation (e.g. by a hospital). The only exception is a cardiac MRT. For those insured by the SVG, the SVB or the KFA, all MRT examinations require authorisation without exception.
This rough overview is intended to serve as a guide, and if you have any further questions, our staff are available at any time.
How is the examinatoon carried out?
For a magnetic resonance tomography examination, you lie on an examination table that is pushed into a short magnetic tunnel. While the scan images are being taken, you will hear a tapping noise that is caused by the electromagnetic waves. It is very important that you keep still during the examination, since even small movements can cause image interference.

 

How long does the examination take?
Depending on the organ being examined, the examination takes between 15 and 30 minutes.

 

Is the examination causing pain?
No, you won’t feel anything during the examination. It is completely painless, and no harmful effects are known at present.

 

What should I keep in mind for the examination?

It is not permitted to take hearing aids, jewellery, hair slides, glasses, etc. into the examination room, as they will become defective or could cause image interference. Before the examination, women should not apply any mascara. Patients with a pacemaker, metal implants or an artificial cardiac valve should always inform the doctor beforehand. Please also note that credit cards will be erased if they come too close to the magnetic field!

 

Do I need to bring anything to the examination?
Please bring your kidney values to the magnetic resonance tomography.

 

Does a contract medium have to be administered?

Depending on the nature of the examination, intravenous administration of MR contrast agent may be required, which may contribute to the presentation of certain organs and anatomical structures, thus helping to detect pathological changes, thereby increasing the validity of the examination and ensuring the diagnosis. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, the required amount of contrast agent can be significantly reduced. Please see our contrast media information sheets.

 

Magnetic resonance tomography/imaging

Special examinations