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MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a diagnostic procedure that combines a powerful magnet, radio waves and computer technology to provide detailed images of tissues, muscles, nerves and bones. Because MRI uses magnetic force and radio waves to create images, there is no radiation exposure during the procedure. MRI is often used instead of CT to study soft tissues or organs because bones do not obscure the organs and soft tissues as they do with CT imaging.

Advanced technology and imaging capability

Astria Regional Medical Center's Siemens Avanto MRI offers some of the highest quality images available today. It is also quicker, quieter and many exams can be done feet first, making it much more comfortable for patients. 

In addition to a higher level of comfort, the Avanto has many advanced functions not available anywhere else in the Yakima Valley. This unique machine is able to create a 'map' of brain activity. By having a patient tap their fingers or wiggle their toes, the scan is able to tell neurosurgeons exactly which part of the brain is used for which functions -- allowing more precision, and ultimately better outcomes for patients. 

The Avanto also has an advanced cardiac function, which can capture detailed, 3-D images of the heart, valves and arteries. Astria Regional Medical Center is also offering breast MRI, which can detect even tiny changes in breast tissue, and is an important tool for women with dense breast tissue or implants.