MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Discussion & Experiences & Questions

Discussion in 'Support' started by calin, Sep 12, 2012.

    1. ViktoriaK

      ViktoriaK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress-induced
      Dear Vicki, thank you so much for your reply! You are right, it is my decision - and I've done some research but the pros / cons seem so tight I find it really hard to decide.

      Basically, the acoustic neuroma is the only thing that could be detected, with an MRI right? By the way, I asked the MRI staff at the hospital - two assistants were on duty at that given time, familiar with the machine and tinnitus patients as well. Informally, one of them told me not to risk it, the other one said to go for it...
       
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    2. livewire77

      livewire77 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Czechia
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music on headphones
      I was on MRI last week. I advise you to use earplugs. I bought 3M E-A-R Classic and combined with headphones (they will provide you with them) it was OK. Machine noise is rather in the low or middle frequencies. It caused no damage to my ears. I have also mild hyperacusis. My biggest concern was not to fall asleep there.

      I would not skip it. What if there was something wrong inside?

      If you have an option to buy a CD with scans, I would recommend you to buy it. It's pretty cool to look inside your head at home and rotate the brain in 3D :)
       
    3. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      It is definitely hard to decide and as you can tell from the responses of the people who work there, there’s no definitive answer unfortunately. In the case of tinnitus, the scan performed may only be an IAM (internal auditory meatus), that’s certainly the case where I work but each hospital’s protocol will be different, some may do a whole head. An acoustic neuroma will be visible on an IAM scan but if there’s anything neurological going on that’s observable on MRI higher up in the brain that may not be detected, hence me subsequently having an whole head MRI after the initial IAM as the neurologist wanted to rule out MS. Like I say, I was fine after both scans but I completely understand your concerns, it took me weeks to decide to have the first scan and I then didn’t hesitate to have the second one xxx

      P.S. MRI isn’t pleasant. If you’re bothered about small spaces so the anxiety over that can cause the tinnitus to seem worse as well. It’s all so interlinked it’s hard to tell what’s a genuine worsening and what’s made worse by stress/anxiety. I’m extremely claustrophobic so I had to just fix my eyes on a single point and zone out until it was done. The radiographers were aware that I’m claustrophobic and they did as short a sequence as possible, but MRI is never super quick. It is a fantastic imaging modality though, things like CT just don’t compare when investigating things like possible causes of tinnitus because MRI is that much more sensitive xxx
       
    4. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Vicki3116, I hope it's okay to ask here.

      I didn't have an IAM MRI, but a whole head MRI which showed nothing significant. Are IAM MRIs more specific or the only difference is that because it's just part of the head, it takes a shorter time?

      Also, I realised much later that even though the MRI was clearly ordered for tinnitus, on my paperwork (evidence, report, can't find the correct word for it) headache was listed as the symptom which needed to be examined. Do you think that it could have altered how the radiologist analysed the scan? Or regardless of the cause they would have been able to detect if something in my ears/brain had caused the tinnitus? (I hope it's understandable what I mean, I'm struggling with English more than normally.)

      I had a truly horrible experience with MRI and the spike that followed, so I'm not planning to go again, if I absolutely don't have to.

      I'm planning to have a HRCT for getting closer to ruling out otosclerosis.

      Thank you.
       
    5. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Anyone with hyperacusis get an MRI and NOT spike?

      Inquiring minds would like to know.
       
    6. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      Yes. I had four or five MRI scans while dealing with hyperacusis. One was around a 90-minute full spinal scan, too.
       
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    7. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Thanks. You had double protection? Do you remember the model of the MRI machine? I am now worried as my right ear spiked from a damn convection oven beep smh.
       
    8. Tau
      In pain

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      Make sure to get custom earplugs and insist on earmuffs, too. That should be sufficient. If you feel that the sound is too much, even a little bit, immediately stop the scan.

      Ill-fitted foam earplugs and foam pads did not protect me enough and I have more distortions/tinnitus now.
       
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    9. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004/05
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      • Agree Agree x 2
    10. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Interesting. The new material to make everything quieter. Since the articles were from a few years ago, I wonder how far it’s gotten.
       
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    11. Vicki3116

      Vicki3116 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Hey, so sorry for the mega slow reply. No, there’s no difference with a whole head or IAM scan, the images will be the same but the IAM will cover a smaller area. The radiologist report will cover everything available so in my opinion, a whole head is better as it gives more information. Yeah you’re right, if there was anything to be seen on the scan the radiologist will have been able to pick up on it, whether it’s brain or ear based. Unfortunately it’s rare to visualise the cause of tinnitus. My report is completely normal. I saw my MRI and report the other day, but interestingly it did show that one of my frontal sinuses is pretty full, but the opposite side to the one I have most trouble with.

      I hope you’re doing ok xxx
       
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    12. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      I think it is a matter of cost mainly... even in countries with a tradition of public healthcare there are more and more private clinics, and some services a privatised or sub-contracted.

      So for clinics getting an MRI machine that is quieter but does exactly the same as other cheaper machines is not a good business idea. Sad but true.
       
    13. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      I have already posted in other MRI discussions but for me the safety of the MRI for tinnitus/hyperacusis sufferers all depends on the device used.

      That's why everyone who is posting on Tinnitus Talk saying MRI has spiked or worsened their tinnitus, or the opposite, had no effect on it should mention the MRI device.

      Too many times there is no mention of the MRI device in the posts.

      I had an MRI session last winter. It was for the hand and you are in a "Superman" position with the hand above your head directly in the tunnel meaning your head is fully in the middle of the MRI tunnel.

      I had been told and I had read on the internet Toshiba/Canon MRI were the quietest so I contacted the MRI Market Director of Canon through LinkedIn and he was kind enough (many thanks to him!) to answer me with the locations near Paris in France which are equipped with Canon Orian 1.5T device.

      He confirmed to me that any musculoskeletal MRI exam on the Canon Orian (new name of Toshiba Vantage Titan) does not exceed 85 dB which is why it is no longer legally mandatory to supply hearing protection for the center (in France legislation threshold is 85 dB).

      Unlike GE or Siemens which are using software program to cut noise, Canon is using a hardware solution (vacuum) + software.

      The fact is that you cannot rely on the software solution because it is not always possible to use the software silent sequences for every exam. On top of that, it takes longer so people in the MRI center are reluctant to use them and if there are MRI exams planned every 20 minutes they will go for the fastest... Finally, during the exam if the technician needs higher quality he will not use the silent sequences...
      All this to say that even if you have your MRI on a recent device which has so-called silent sequences, you are never sure they will be used...

      Whereas, when it is a hardware solution like with Canon, this is necessarily used for all the exams, all the sequences, all the time... The Software "Pianissimo Zen" which can be added on top is the cherry on the cake.

      During my hand MRI, I used Earsoft FX earplugs + a special MRI headset with no metal on top of that that I brought myself.

      Let's be honest, the exam seemed still loud to me (especially some sequences looking like jackhammer which panicked me a bit) but it was surely mainly due to my fear and anxiety rather than the noise level itself.

      I sang gently during the whole MRI and my voice heard from the inside (with the earplugs) was partly covering the noise...

      At the end nothing to report on my hyperacusis or my tinnitus.

      A friend of mine suffering from both tinnitus and hyparcusis has had 4 MRIs over the last 3 years (back and head). He had the first three with Siemens 1.5T Area and the last one with a Canon Orian 1.5T... He confirmed the Canon is way quieter...

      I cannot say any MRI exam on Canon will be safe for anybody with tinnitus/hyperacusis because we are all different and I would never take this responsibility.

      However, there is a big difference between GE/Siemens/Phillips and the Canon device so if you have to go for a MRI, pick up the Canon and try to go relax...

      There are many posts here saying "never go to an MRI", "if I were you, I would not go", "MRI ruined my life..." but sometimes you just have no choice because of the seriousness of the underlying disease and because not all the MRI exams can be replaced by CT/scan or something else...

      The anxiety can be really harmful, sometimes more than the noise level of the Canon MRI itself.
       
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    14. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Very true man. Hopefully they get cheaper over time. I need an MRI. I have crazy shit going on, just the noxacusis will not have it. I know that it will make me worse for sure.
       
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    15. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      That’s reassuring. I mean if you have loudness hyperacusis and have an MRI with earmuffs and earplugs, it is low risk. Noxacusis on the other hand, I feel pain through doubling up from squeaking car breaks. If anything is the right pitch, it will cause me pain and make me worse even if it’s under 50 dB. It’s that bad. Never thought I would ever hear myself say something like that but yeah, it’s messed up. So far my other ear problems are not life threatening but pretty much keep me from doing any exercise but walking. One of these days I might try to suck it up and get the MRI of my ears, but the noxacusis at its worst beats anything.

      Do you have noxacusis? Or loudness hyperacusis? And I am still searching for quieter MRIs but nobody seems to know. So I should contact the Director of Canon for locations?
       
    16. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      I have been waiting for years to get another MRI hoping that decibel levels would go down... but no. And even those "quiet" MRIs that manufacturers advertise are only slightly less noisy but at the expense of image quality, so one has to sacrifice image quality.

      In the end my conclusion was... Why get another MRI if maybe there is a 0.01% chance that anything fixable is going to show there?
       
    17. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Yeah true. I mean for most things from noise damage there’s no point. However, I developed bilateral hyperacusis and bilateral distortions in both ears from a heavy deadlift. Bad head and ear pressure, especially in the right ear, headaches, and mild dizziness but which is bad when I stand up or strain. At this point (9 months in) I know it’s something that is treatable. I have been suspecting a PLF and many other people suspect it is that too, but the hearing loss and vertigo is just not there. I kept working out and got worse in July. Haven’t touched a weight in 8 weeks, hyperacusis is much better aside from the noxacusis. The noxacusis is from something else.

      I am resting but also suspect it could be something else including a nerve, artery or capillary because the blood in my head seems messed up. Complete nightmare.
       
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    18. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      So are you going to have the MRI to find out the root cause?
       
    19. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      That's not totally true. I know my previous post was too long to read, but as I said Canon MRIs are not "slightly less noisy" but a lot less noisy than other MRI devices... And the hardware patented design enables to have the same image quality (unlike the software program which are sometimes at the expense of image quality you are right).

      85 dB for the Canon Orian 1.5T... If I remember well, I have heard they have reduced by around 15 dB versus 15 years ago. It is not a tiny difference.

      It has been said many times on Tinnitus Talk that any tinnitus/hyperacusis sufferers should go for a Toshiba/Canon to be on the safe side if a MRI is unavoidable (which sometimes is the case). I know it is not always easy to find locations where these MRIs are used but use all the existing channels to find the info or call each MRI center and ask.

      However, it is clear that if the potential benefit of the MRI exam is not clear, then it should be avoided.

      When my Rheumatologist asks me to go for a MRI I always ask her "what are we looking for with this exam? Can it be replaced by another exam for the same result? And most importantly, will it change anything to the therapeutic approach if something is found or not?"... If the MRI exam results will not change anything to the way you manage the disease then it is useless...

      But for example in my case of suspicion of rheumatism, some elements in favor of a specific aggressive disease (rheumatoid arthritis) can appear on the MRI years before being visible on the normal X-ray or the sooner you start the treatment to block the disease, the more chances you have to avoid serious disability... If you wait for the damages to be seen on normal X-ray then it is too late...

      At the end each individual must assess the benefit/risk balance but if the decision to go for the MRI is made, pick up the Canon, stop blaming yourself (after reading all the posts here saying you should not go) and go relax to avoid anxiety which will probably harm you more than the noise level itself.
       
    20. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      I will ask clinics for that machine, although usually this is pointless, as the receptionist who picks up the phone has no idea about MRI equipment and will not transfer the call or research anything...
      That's a good way to go about it. If there is no treatment for something, or the damage the treatment is going to make outweighs the benefits, there is no point in going for tests, MRIs etc.
       
    21. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      Before I was able to join the Canon guy through LinkedIn and be directly oriented, I emailed or called different clinics and many times got the answer... I also did research on the internet, social networks, LinkedIn because many times they advertise when they are equiped with a new machine or the Canon people comment on LinkedIn the new installation, so you can sometimes find out where they are installing Canon devices.

      I even drove to one of them to get the answer directly.

      I was able to fill an Excel file listing all the centres nearby with the machine they use.

      Where are you living?
       
    22. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Right now near Barcelona, where many people in clinics and specially receptionists tend to be nasty.
       
    23. GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      After reading about MRI machines and their high noise level I cancelled my pending MRI until I can understand this better. In the meantime I ordered what I believe to be the best MRI safe hearing protection to get set up while I research quiet machines like the Canon Orian 1.5T. In the meantime I needed a CT/PET scan last week. I decided to bring my new "MRI safe" ear muffs and use them along with my 3M EarSoft foam plugs. The experience was OK because the machine being used is a lot quieter than an MRI but, the tech told me that my ear muffs did produce image artifacts so they may still contain metal. I bought:

      MRI Safe Pro-Ears Ultra Pro Premium Ear Muffs (NRR 30)

      https://www.earplugstore.com/mri-safe-proears-ultra-pro-earmuffs.html

      Does anyone know what is happening here or have a recommendation for better ear muffs. There will most likely be at least one MRI in my future.

      Thanks,
      George
       
    24. jpr992

      jpr992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Dear Darktale,

      Do you know if the Canon Orian model is quieter than the other Canon's models with Pianissimo technology? I ask this because there is another model of 1.5T - Canon Vantage Elan (https://us.medical.canon/products/magnetic-resonance/vantage-elan-15t/), which also have Pianissimo technology and is the one available in the city where I live.
      The differences I found between them are: the Orian model have a wider bore (71cm instead of 63cm), and also have "mUTE application", which "suppresses high-speed gradient field switching, making it possible to provide even quieter scanning." (https://us.medical.canon/products/magnetic-resonance/vantage-orian-15t/patient-comfort/). In addition, from my research it seems that Orian is a newer model model, which was released in 2018, while Elan was released in 2015.

      Taking into account all these considerations, do you think that Orian model is quieter than Elan model?

      Best regards,
      Joao
       
    25. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      As far as I am concerned I am using these earmuffs (on top of earplugs) during my MRI exams.

      Already did 2 MRI with it and no image artefacts or any similar issue.

      It is written clearly "Metal Free" and "suitable for MRI" on the box.

      9jib.jpg

      exfy.jpg

      0vrf.jpg

      Only Issue is to get the approval from the MRI center to use it... Recently I contacted another MRI center closer to my home which has now been equipped with Canon Orian device and they told me "you can come with earplugs but earmuffs are not allowed"... Despite showing picture of the earmuff box mentioning "Suitable for MRI", "Metal free" they don't want me to use it... so I said go to hell...

      I will do my MRI in the same center as last time even if further from my home.
       
    26. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      Hi Joao,

      I am not working for Canon so difficult for me to answer.

      My feeling is that every Canon MRI model are built on the same basis with the same hardware technology (vacuum) making them quieter than competition who are only using software.

      Regarding the differences between Elan and Orian, I have only experienced Orian model so cannot compare in real life.

      They are both using Pianissimo (hardware solution) and Pianissimo Zen (software so depending on the exam, sequences and good will of the operator)... This "mUTE application" is probably another additional software tool that can be used under certain circumstances but I don't know... And I would not rely too much on the software part for the already explained reason... Key point is to have the hardware solution (Pianissimo) which is the only one you are sure to get no matter the operator or exams conditions.

      To sum up, I would say Elan will be quieter than any competitor's model (GE, Siemens...). Orian may feature additional tools which would be beneficial if used during your exam (which I'm totally unsure of) and the wide bore is more comfortable (and your head is still 10 cm further away from the gradient :)) so If you can find a Orian model, go for it. If not, go for the Elan which will probably be the same at the end of the day.
       
    27. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Just saw this, but I’m gonna avoid an MRI at all costs, because I’m pretty sure a PLF or a CSF leak won’t show up on one. Unless there’s something else going on. Gonna have to find out because I’m not getting better.
       
      • Winner Winner x 1
    28. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Smart choice my man.
       
    29. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Ask your doctor if you can see that on a CAT scan, which is a silent test (but there's radiation so doctors tend to think an MRI is better despite of the super loud noise).
       
    30. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      I got a CT scan in the beginning of the year for the fistula, but since things got worse I gotta do it. Yeah I don't care about radiating, better than 120 dB lol. Gonna have to do a DSM test too most likely. So much fun.
       
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