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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) UPSC NOTE

 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Machine

  • MRI is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure used to obtain images of soft tissues within the body.

  • It is widely utilised for imaging various body parts such as the brain, cardiovascular system, spinal cord, joints, muscles, liver, and arteries.

  • Unlike X-rays, which use radiation, MRI scans leverage powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of soft tissues within the body.

  • Professor Paul C. Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield won the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their innovative research which resulted in the invention of MRI.

  • MRI Machine Components: The MRI machine consists of three essential components, including a superconducting magnet, a radiofrequency pulse emitter, and a detector.


  • An MRI procedure utilises hydrogen atoms present in the body part being scanned.

  • When a patient enters the MRI machine, their body’s hydrogen atoms align with the magnetic field

  • Radio waves are then used to temporarily disrupt this alignment

  • When the radio waves are turned off, the hydrogen atoms return to their aligned state, emitting energy that is detected by the scanner.

  • Different tissues emit different signals based on their hydrogen atom density and molecular environment, allowing the scanner to create detailed images that physicians can use to diagnose various medical conditions.


  • MRI plays a crucial role in observing and treating cancers like prostate and rectal cancer, as well as tracking neurological conditions including Alzheimer's, dementia, epilepsy, and stroke.

  • Additionally, researchers use MRI scans to study changes in blood flow, aiding in understanding brain activity

Recent development

  • Scientists have designed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner that costs a fraction of existing machines, setting the stage for improving access to this widely used diagnostic tool.

  • It is portable and relatively light-weight, doesn’t need cumbersome shielding, and can be plugged into standard wall sockets

  • In India, such machines can be used for preliminary tests, help doctors responding to accidents, and in paediatric settings



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) UPSC NOTE
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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