Book Review: Understanding MRI

The book reviewed here is ‘Understanding MRI’ by Jeffrey Newhouse and Jonathan Wiener. The authors, both radiologists, write that this is the book they would have wanted, had they been starting out with MRI. What they do here is give an easily accessible description of MRI using words rather than equations. They also include relevant photographs and images. They write that

The readers of this book will…. be able to understand the major parameters that need to be adjusted when operating an MRI machine

However what they have done is made a number of the terms used in MRI reporting accessible and so I would argue that non-radiologist professionals with an interest in imaging would find benefit from this book. For instance in clinical practice, the report of an imaging study might include references to T1 and T2 weighted images and the authors explain these terms quite clearly. They start with the basics – vectors, magnets, magnetic fields and electromagnetism before moving onto topics including tissue magnetisation, image contrast, pulse sequences, small flip angles and gradient echoes. As the book is written for practising radiologists, some of the more advanced topics will be of more relevance to these professionals and the authors write that they hope radiologists will be able to use the material in this book to inform adjustments to their own imaging protocols. However along the way, the authors have made a number of principles in MRI accessible and these could be useful to other professionals who use MRI in their own practice.


Jeffrey Newhouse and Jonathan Wiener. Understanding MRI. Little, Brown and Company. 1991.


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The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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