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MRI and Dehydration: The Importance of Hydration Before Scans in Hot Weather

MRI and Dehydration: The Importance of Hydration Before Scans in Hot Weather
MRI and Dehydration: The Importance of Hydration Before Scans in Hot Weather

The summer months bring soaring temperatures, especially in Texas! Staying hydrated becomes an important part of our daily routines for optimal health. The need to hydrate is even more significant when undergoing an MRI scan. Let’s understand the pivotal role played by hydration in ensuring clear and accurate MRI images.

The Science Behind Hydration and MRI Quality

MRI scans utilize water molecules to create images, making them highly effective since approximately 60% of our body is made up of water and all body tissues contain varying amounts of water. This capability allows for high-resolution imaging of many organs and tissues. Interestingly, our bones contain very little water and hence cannot be properly visualized by MRI scans.

How an MRI Works

An MRI scan involves a table that slides into a large cylindrical magnet, which generates a powerful magnetic field when activated. Soft tissues, containing water molecules, have protons that respond to this magnetic field. These magnetized protons emit echoes when exposed to the MRI scan’s radio waves. A computer then assembles these echoes into detailed images. Studies have shown that being in a dehydrated state can alter tissue morphology and negatively image quality of MRI images.1

Pre-Scan Hydration Tips

Don’t let dehydration sneak up on you in the hot weather. Follow these simple tips to ensure you're well-hydrated for your MRI appointment:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day leading up to your scan.
  • Avoid diuretics like caffeine and alcohol, which can increase dehydration.
  • Keep a water bottle handy and take small sips regularly if you're out in the heat.

A Clear Picture for Better Health

Staying hydrated can help you beat the Texas heat. Proper hydration promotes overall health and wellness, and will ensure that you get a better quality MRI scan.

Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging offers the most advanced MRI technologies and techniques to help accurately diagnose a wide range of conditions.

Our mission at Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging is to provide patients and physicians affordable medical diagnostic imaging in a warm and patient-friendly environment. It is our goal to make the medical imaging procedure as pleasant as possible. Our promise to our communities is "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs" with efficient service to both our patients and physicians.