MRI and CT scans

MRI Scan

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) works with radio waves that are not harmful to your body. A large magnetic field is used to create the images. The hospitals and clinics working in co-operation with Prescan, use the most advanced equipment such as the latest Siemens and Philips apparatus. By means of these radio waves, the specialists are able to see organs and structures within the body. An average MRI scan lasts between 30-60 minutes. In this time, over a thousand images are created. Initially, you lie down on a comfortable 'bed'. This bed moves into a tunnel, which has openings at the front and back. If you suffer from claustrophobia we recommend that you mention this in your application form, so it can be taken into account. The person who will be accompanying you may also enter the MRI area.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the latest, and perhaps most versatile, medical imaging technology available today. Doctors receive highly refined images of the body's interior without surgery. MRI uses strong magnets and pulses of radio waves to manipulate the natural magnetic properties in the body. This technique creates more detailed images of organs and soft tissues than those of other scanning technologies. The MRI scan can be carried out on the entire body, and poses no harmful radiation risk.

Philips Ingenia 1.5 T

The Philips Ingenia 1.5T MRI scanner is first-ever digital broadband MR system. It delivers crystal clear images, remarkable speed, and technology that makes RF upgrades a thing of the past. MRI scanner samples the MR signal directly in the coil on the patient, and sends it to the reconstructor via fiber-optic cable. The result is up to 40% higher SNR, and a dynamic range that exceeds 185dB.   

The scanner enables imaging with fewer coils and reduce patient set up time, bringing about a throughput increase as much as 30%. The plug-and-play expansion of clinical capabilities is enabled without major system upgrades and channel conflicts. It can halve the number of repetitive tasks for greater efficiency, consistency and reproducibility.

Siemens Magnetom Avanto 1.5 T

Because of the high-resolution technology which provides an impressive imaging quality in detail, the Magnetom Avanto 1.5T by Siemens meets the high diagnosis accuracy performance of  Prescan’s preventative MRI- screening examinations. Additional advantages of the Magnetom Avanto 1.5T is the high-speed of which it  performs the images, the noise reducing technology and the easy access to get on, in and out of the scanner. The MRI scanner has a wide tube design, which helps  those who suffer from claustrophobia.

The Magnetom Avanto 1.5T offers you the comfort you should receive. 

When am I not eligible for an MRI scan?

An MRI scan should be substituted for a CT scan, or an echotomography should the client be using one of the following aids: 

  • A pacemaker
  • An insulin pump
  • An inner ear implant
  • Electronic neurostimulators (TENS)

In cases such as these, an alternative program can be utilised. This program can include an extra CT scan. If you have metal implants, we will discuss with you which options can be considered, as metal implants are not always a problem. 

In some cases the doctor may ask for a contrast agent to be administered for the scan. At the moment there are no known side effects of the contrast agent used in MRI scans.

CT Scan

CT (Computed Tomography) This specialised exam produces cross-sectional images of the internal body parts and organs, especially of those organs that are in a state of constant motion e.g. heart/lungs. The complete examination lasts between 5 to 10 minutes.

The clinics that work in conjunction with Prescan use the most advanced scanning machines, such as the latest Siemens scanning system.

The lungs are scanned if:

  • The client is 40 years or older, smoking and has smoked one packet of cigarettes per day for the last 10 years. 

  • The client is 40 years or older, who stopped smoking, less than 15 years ago after having smoked one packet of cigarettes a day for at least 10 years.

This data is based on the interim conclusions drawn by I-Elcap screening for Lung cancer, and updated in early 2004. 

Clients above 40 years of age will have a section of the lungs included in the picture when undergoing the CT of the heart.

The heart will be scanned in the following instances:

With clients in the age group 40-75 years, and at least one of the following risk factors is present: 

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes
  • The occurrence of a heart infarct at a young age in the family 
    (younger than 70)

If the above-mentioned criteria are not applicable to you, then the CT of the heart will be substituted for an echocardiogram in combination with an ECG examination. If you have cardiac medical history (e.g. stent/s, bypasses or previous infarcts) it is required of you to state this in the medical history. An alternative possibility will then be discussed. 

On your doctor's advice it may be necessary to make use of a contrast agent to improve the quality of the images/pictures made. 

In some rare cases it is possible that allergic reactions can occur. This can be in the form of nausea, an increased tendency to sneeze or a rash. These reactions generally stabilise within a short time. 

In rare cases extreme allergic reactions can occur, such as: disturbances in the blood circulatory system, liver, kidneys and /or nerves. These unpredictable side effects can make it necessary to be admitted to hospital. The results of which can cause permanent damage. 

Thorough preparation makes all the difference

It is important that you get properly informed about preventative medical examinations, such as the Total Body Scan. Knowing what the limitations, the advantages or disadvantages of specific examination methods are, prevents an incorrect expectation.