An MRI of the pelvis with and without contrast is done to evaluate the internal contents of the pelvis in men and women. The test is done for various indications and can provide a detailed look at the anatomy in the pelvis.
When do we need contrast for pelvic MRI?
Contrast helps with diagnosis. MRI with contrast helps us see tumors, infections, and blood vessels. MRI with contrast also allows us to diagnose abnormalities more accurately.
What does a pelvic mri scan show
Pelvic MRI can show us the detailed anatomy of the pelvis in men and women.
In women, we can see the uterus, ovaries, bladder, bowel, lymph nodes, blood vessels and bones.
In men, we see the prostate and seminal vesicles instead of the uterus and ovaries in addition to the other structures.
We also see part of the spine and the abdominal wall. We can see the upper thighs and lower abdomen in some scans.
Indications for pelvic MRI
A pelvic MRI in women is often done to look at the uterus and ovaries. This can be for reasons like fibroids of the uterus, tumors of the pelvis, cysts and other abnormalities of the ovaries.
In men, pelvic MRI is done to look at the prostate, although we call this a dedicated prostate MRI and is a more focused test.
Pelvic MRI is also done to look for reasons for pelvic pain or other pelvic symptoms in both men and women.
Pelvic MRI can be done to look at the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and bones of the pelvis.
We do pelvic MRI of the rectum for staging cancer, although this is called a rectal MRI and is more focused.
We can also monitor for cancer recurrence with pelvic MRI. This is especially important when patients are getting multiple scans over time to reduce radiation exposure.
Pelvic MRIs focused on the internal structures of the pelvis will be done differently then those focused on the bones and muscles of the pelvis.
How long does a pelvic MRI take?
A pelvic MRI often takes between 30-90 minutes. The time depends on how the scan is done and whether contrast is given.
What is mri with contrast used for?
MRI contrast helps with detection and diagnosis of abnormalities in the pelvis. We can see more abnormalities and provide a more accurate diagnosis when contrast is given in many cases.
What is in contrast dye for MRI?
This is a gadolinium based contrast. It is given through an iv. This contrast helps us see abnormalities like tumors, inflammation, and blood vessels. Contrast shows us how much vascular supply an organ or abnormality is getting.
Pelvic MRI with and without contrast: summary
Pelvic MRI has many indications as detailed above. A pelvic MRI shows us the detailed anatomy of the pelvis and any abnormalities.
Some pelvic MRIs are more focused and done for specific reasons like the prostate or rectum. A pelvic MRI done for the bones will be performed differently then one in a women for the ovaries and uterus.