What is MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technology that uses a powerful magnet to produce a strong magnetic field around the body. This magnetic field causes protons in the body to align with it. Then, radio waves are used to disrupt this effect; when the radio waves are turned off, the MRI sensors detect changes in the protons as they come back into alignment. This information can then be translated into images that depict various structures in the body. Doctors can examine these images in detail on a computer monitor.