An MR Arthrogram creates images of one or more of the body’s joints in order to evaluate its condition and to assist with the diagnosis and treatment of joint problems. In some ways, an MR Arthrogram is similar to an x-ray, but it is also different in several important ways.
During an MR Arthrogram procedure, a technician assists a Physician to inject a contrast material (dye) containing gadolinium into the joint. When the MRI scanner is scanning, the gadolinium interacts with the magnets and reveals the structures within and around the joint, showing how the contrast material moves within the joint space and the surrounding soft tissues. The difference is an MRI uses a powerful magnetic field and radiofrequency pulses to create detailed pictures, whereas an x-ray uses radiation. An MR Arthrogram can also produce more detailed images when an x-ray is not adequate.