Information

On this page you can find out more information on medneo and the imaging procedures offered by medneo. We have complied concise answers to technical, procedural, and organisational questions as well as those of a general nature, such as about medneo and their examinations. In the section on “frequently asked questions” you can find overarching questions that many patients have asked in the past. Alternatively, you can search directly for a specific diagnostic method – depending on whether you have an upcoming MRI, CT, X-ray or fluoroscopy appointment.

Frequently asked questions

Please click on one of the following questions and you will receive an answer immediately. Can’t find the right question? Please send us an e-mail.

Top questions

Is medneo a radiology practice?

medneo is a service provider for physicians, medical centres and hospitals (medical service provider). The treatment contract is exclusively between you and the medical service provider with whom you agreed the appointment for your examination. medneo performs the imaging procedure for your exam on behalf of the medical service provider and manages the administrative, procedural and technical concerns involved with your examination during your visit to the premises. The reading and reporting of the images taken will be performed by the medical service provider using the medneo diagnostic platform for your examination. This modern distribution of work provides your physician with access to state-of-the-art technology and leaves them free to concentrate completely on medicine.

Which documents and papers do I need to bring with me to the examination?

Health insurance card

This serves the purpose of identifying you and enables your personal information to be entered into our IT system.

Letter of referral/application form (in Switzerland)

This is required as it contains the desired examination as well as the medical indication. Moreover, your doctor can only render an account if there is a letter of referral or an application form (in Switzerland).

Previous findings and previous images

These make it easier for your physician to assess your diagnostic images and evaluate the findings over the course of time.

Implant identity document (only relevant for MRIs)

If you have an implant in your body (stent, artificial joint, valve, pacemaker, etc.) please bring your implant identity document with you. Please check that your implant is suitable for an MRI and obtain information on your OP report prior to your examination.

Laboratory values

These are necessary if an intravenous contrast agent is or may be required for your examination. The values should not be older than six week. You will be informed if it is necessary for you to bring along current values.

  • For MRI: creatinine.
  • For CT: creatinine and TSH.
  • For X-ray: no values are necessary.
  • For fluoroscopy: creatinine.

Allergy record

This is required as it lists medications and foodstuffs, among other things, to which you are allergic.

How cramped is it during the MRI examination?

medneo uses the most modern MRI machines available on the market. Our MRI units have an opening of 70 cm and a very short tube with wide openings at both ends. You have a signalling device in your hand and can reach the medneo staff at any time through an intercom. A camera at the head end of the machine also ensures additional safety. You are free to take a companion to sit with you during the examination. For many examinations, your upper body is outside the magnet tube. The magnet tunnel is light, well ventilated and has friendly, rounded contours. The room can be illuminated in different colours according to your wishes. We keep the examination as short as possible.

What if I have claustrophobia?

Experience has shown that about 3% of patients cannot be assessed initially due to severe claustrophobia. This fear cannot be fought by sheer force of will; it is not something you should be ashamed of, and there is no need for you to apologise for it! The vast majority of these patients are nevertheless able to undergo an MRI if they are given sedatives. If your claustrophobia is a known condition (typical signs: you won’t ride the underground or take elevators, and you would never make use of a tanning booth), please let us know when you schedule your appointment. Have someone accompany you to the examination and take you home – you are not allowed to drive for 24 hours after administration of the sedative. For some examinations, it is possible for the patient to be positioned with their head and upper body outside the magnet so that this fear does not occur at all (e.g. for lower extremities, spine, pelvis). For other examinations it is unavoidable that the patient is positioned in the centre of the tube.

What is the difference between MRI and CT?

Both computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produce cross-sectional images of the body. 

For a CT, the patient is passed through a very short X-ray scanner in which transverse cross-sectional images of the body are generated by means of X-ray radiation. The images can be reconstructed in different orientations and also reproduced as three-dimensional images. The radiation exposure during a CT is higher than for a classic X-ray. The examination delivers a diagnosis within just a few minutes. It is therefore often used for emergencies as well as for very ill or restless patients.

magnetic resonance tomography (MRI) works with a very strong magnetic field without any radiation exposure. Similar to a CT, the patient lies in a tube. It is slightly longer however. Cross-sectional images of the internal body can be taken in freely selectable perspectives. MRI features a very high soft tissue contrast. Radiation-free MRI is often touted as a competitor to CT; however both methods are complementary and the optimal diagnostic method will be individually selected by your physician depending on the part to be examined, the diagnostic problem and the personal situation of the patient.

General questions about medneo

Is medneo a radiology practice?

medneo is a service provider for physicians, medical centres and hospitals (medical service provider). The treatment contract is exclusively between you and the medical service provider with whom you agreed the appointment for your examination. medneo performs the imaging procedure for your exam on behalf of the medical service provider and manages the administrative, procedural and technical concerns involved with your examination during your visit to the premises. The reading and reporting of the images taken will be performed by the medical service provider using the medneo diagnostic platform for your examination. This modern distribution of work provides your physician with access to state-of-the-art technology and leaves them free to concentrate completely on medicine.

Which status do the physicians have at medneo?

The physicians at medneo all act independently and as individual entrepreneurs or are employed in a practice/institute, a medical centre or a hospital (medical service provider). The treatment contract is only between you and the physician performing the examination or the medical service provider with whom you agreed the appointment for your examination. You will be given the corresponding documentation prior to your examination to find out who your medical contract partner is. If you have any further questions, please contact a member of the medneo staff or ask your treating physician.

Which documents and papers do I need to bring with me to the examination?

Health insurance card

This serves the purpose of identifying you and enables your personal information to be entered into our IT system.

Letter of referral/application form (in Switzerland)

This is required as it contains the desired examination as well as the medical indication. Moreover, your doctor can only render an account if there is a letter of referral or an application form (in Switzerland).

Previous findings and previous images

These make it easier for your physician to assess your diagnostic images and evaluate the findings over the course of time.

Implant identity document (only relevant for MRIs)

If you have an implant in your body (stent, artificial joint, valve, pacemaker, etc.) please bring your implant identity document with you. Please check that your implant is suitable for an MRI and obtain information on your OP report prior to your examination.

Laboratory values

These are necessary if an intravenous contrast agent is or may be required for your examination. The values should not be older than six week. You will be informed if it is necessary for you to bring along current values.

  • For MRI: creatinine.
  • For CT: creatinine and TSH.
  • For X-ray: no values are necessary.
  • For fluoroscopy: creatinine.

Allergy record

This is required as it lists medications and foodstuffs, among other things, to which you are allergic.

What happens during my visit to medneo?

When you enter a medneo diagnostic centre, our medneo staff welcomes you at the reception. 

The letter of referral or the application form is accepted or is available and we read in your health insurance card or record your data if you do not have your card with you.   

If you have previous images or medcial records, please bring these with you to the examination and hand them over to our staff. Previous images and medical records can be a valuable help for your radiologist. Naturally, these will be returned to you after the examination.

While your data is being processed in reception, you fill in several documents that provide you with information on data privacy and the examination as well as any possible risks.  A personal informative discussion takes place afterwards. Here your physician provides you with information and can discuss any possible risks. If there are no further questions and you agree to the examination, you document this with your signature. 

The medneo staff then escort you to the changing room and inform you which items of clothing you need to remove before the examination. Your examination then begins.

If required, a short discussion is held with your diagnostic physician after the examination. The detailed decisions regarding your therapy based on the radiological findings are then implemented by your referring physician (e.g. orthopaedist, urologists, etc.).

Your images are assessed by your physician on special monitors approved for this purpose, digitally archived and promptly sent to your referring physician, if they are a part of the medneo IT network. After the examination you are given a CD containing your images, which you should always take with you when you visit your physician in case they are not a part of the medneo network.

How do my images and my medical report reach my referring physician?

Your referring physician is automatically sent your medical report.  After the examination with your physician at medneo, you are given a CD of your digital images, which you should take with you to your referring doctor, but which can then remain in your possession afterwards. All images will be stored for a minimum of 10 years – on behalf of your physician.

Questions about MRI

MRI diagnostics – what is it?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), also known as magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) (derived from Ancient Greek τόμος tomos, “slice, section” and γράφω graphō, “to write”) is a medical imaging technique used to represent the structure and function of the tissues and organs in the body. It is completely painless. It is based on the principle of nuclear magnetic resonance and is therefore also called nuclear magnetic imaging.

MRI allows you to generate cross-sectional images of the human body. It allows an assessment to take place of organs and many pathological changes to organs. No ionising radiation (X-ray radiation or radioactive materials) is used. Imaging is accomplished exclusively by means of magnetic fields and radio waves. These exert an effect on the smallest components of the molecules in the body, namely hydrogen atoms. During the examination, the hydrogen atoms in the body align themselves along this very strong magnetic field. Radio wave pulses are then switched on. This alters the alignment of the hydrogen atoms. In the process they absorb a little energy.  When the radio waves are then switched off, the hydrogen atoms switch back to their original position, and the energy is dissipated. This energy dissipation is recorded.

Hydrogen atoms are present everywhere in the body; however they are present to differing degrees in different organs and in different connections to other atoms. A computer image can be generated from the energy of the differently distributed hydrogen atoms. Water-rich and fatty tissues form the contrast. This allows the different tissues to be distinguished from one another in the images; muscles can be clearly differentiated from bone and tissues that are well supplied with blood are represented differently to scarring and calcification.

Is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) harmful?

According to today’s scientific state of knowledge, there are no adverse effects or side effects associated with MRI. No X-ray radiation is used during an MRI, and this is why repeat examinations are not harmful.

How cramped is it during the MRI examination?

medneo uses the most modern MRI machines available on the market. Our MRI units have an opening of 70 cm and a very short tube with wide openings at both ends. You have a signalling device in your hand and can reach the medneo staff at any time through an intercom. A camera at the head end of the machine also ensures additional safety. You are free to take a companion to sit with you during the examination. For many examinations, your upper body is outside the magnet tube. The magnet tunnel is light, well ventilated and has friendly, rounded contours. The room can be illuminated in different colours according to your wishes. We keep the examination as short as possible.

What if I have claustrophobia?

Experience has shown that about 3% of patients cannot be assessed initially due to severe claustrophobia. This fear cannot be fought by sheer force of will; it is not something you should be ashamed of, and there is no need for you to apologise for it! The vast majority of these patients are nevertheless able to undergo an MRI if they are given sedatives. If your claustrophobia is a known condition (typical signs: you won’t ride the underground or take elevators, and you would never make use of a tanning booth), please let us know when you schedule your appointment. Have someone accompany you to the examination and take you home – you are not allowed to drive for 24 hours after administration of the sedative. For some examinations, it is possible for the patient to be positioned with their head and upper body outside the magnet so that this fear does not occur at all (e.g. for lower extremities, spine, pelvis). For other examinations it is unavoidable that the patient is positioned in the centre of the tube.

Who is not allowed to undergo an MRI?

Persons with cardiac pacemakers, insulin pumps, neurostimulators or cochlear implants cannot be examined or can only undergo examination with special permission from your examining physician. The examination must be critically considered on a case-by-case basis by your examining physician if metal fragments are known to exist in the eye socket or facial area, if the patient has undergone an operation on cerebral blood vessels (such as closure of an aneurysm) and if the auditory ossicles in the middle ear cavity were surgically replaced a long time ago. Please inform us about such matters when you register, or give us a call in advance. Endoprostheses (knee, hip), vascular surgery with implanted stents, the vast majority of heart valves, metal wires remaining in the sternum after bypass operations, dental fillings and bridges, etc., are no problem.

Am I allowed to undergo an MRI examination during pregnancy?

In the first three months of pregnancy, an MRI examination should only be performed in exceptional cases. Although adverse effects have not been demonstrated, the effects of radio waves on the foetus during the period of organ formation are not fully researched. MRI examinations can be undergone in the later stages of a pregnancy, however. MRI is even becoming more and more important in the diagnosis of diseases in unborn children. Your examining physician will make a decision, in agreement with you, regarding the examination.

Can children undergo a MRI?

Yes. In many cases MRI is the method of choice in paediatric disease diagnostics. As children’s bodies are particularly sensitive to radiation, radiation exposure through X-rays and CT scans should be avoided if possible. MRI examinations of infants are usually conducted in hospitals. Small children can be examined, even if this is often a challenge. The physicians using the medne plattform have different methods for calming children and setting the stage for the examination. For example, we show them the magnets and explain everything in a manner that is appropriate for children. A parent may stay with the child in the examination room and the child is offered a small reward. Sometimes the administration of a sedative is recommended. Children then often sleep during the examination. 

The following applies in general: if the parents are not afraid, the examination is usually possible.

Examinations of older children are generally possible without incident.

Will a contrast agent be administered for the MRI diagnostics?

Many examinations are performed without the use of any contrast agents. However a contrast agent is necessary for the complete clarification of some issues. A thin, flexible plastic tube is inserted into a vein in the arm for the duration of the examination and the contrast agent is injected using a pump. Some tissue, such as muscles and blood vessels, for example, appear in similar grey tones in the cross-sectional images and are therefore difficult to differentiate between. A contrast agent allows the blood vessels to be better represented. Contrast agent is injected into a vein in the arm and is distributed throughout the whole body by the bloodstream. It also collects more strongly in tumours and metastasis, making these very visible. Gadolinium with DOTA is often used as a contrast agent.

The contrast agent used is not an X-ray contrast agent containing iodine. It contains chemical compounds of gadolinium or iron. Thus, even if you have experienced oversensitivity to contrast agents during an X-ray examination, you can still be examined with an MRI contrast agent. These are much better tolerated than iodine containing X-ray contrast agents. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) does not represent an obstacle to administering an MRI contrast agent. Allergy sufferers have a theoretically slightly elevated rate of hypersensitivity to MRI contrast agents. Naturally, antidotes for allergic reactions are always at hand.

Hat das MRT-Kontrastmittel Nebenwirkungen?

Generally the contrast agent can be well tolerated and side effects occur only very rarely. Every now and then after a dose of contrast agent, the patient may experience feelings of warmth or cold, headaches, illness, pins and needles, a metallic taste on the tongue or skin irritations. Allergic reactions occur only in rare cases.

In addition, attention is paid to the following:

  • The best possible contrast agent is used after careful consideration of whether additional information can be obtained through the use of the contrast agent.
  • Only the smallest possible amount of the contrast agent is administered.
  • Before administering the contrast agent, you will be asked about kidney disease, diabetes mellitus (type II diabetes), and similar diseases, as these are often accompanied by a decrease in renal function.
  • Patients should have plenty to drink (at least 1-2 litres) before and particularly after the examination in order to boost the excretory function of the kidneys and thus the elimination of the contrast agent.

In all of your physician’s considerations, the focus is on ensuring the greatest degree of safety for you during the MRI examination as well as excellent diagnostic quality and accuracy. If you have any further questions about this subject please feel free to ask your treating physician.

What do I have to take into consideration before the examination?

No special preparations are necessary for MRI examinations without a contrast agent. Simply make sure you wear clothing without any or only a little metal as you have to take off all metal items before the examination.

If it is planned that a contrast agent is to be used, please let your current blood values determine (creatinine levels) in the laboratory before. 

If you suffer from claustrophobia, please bring a companion. They may stay with you during the examination and, if you have been administered a sedative, they must accompany you home.

What happens during my MRI examination?

Firstly, a coil to receive signals is placed on the body part to be examined in the preparation room. You are then taken from the preparation room – where you are already lying on the MRI table – and wheeled into the centre of the cylindrical magnet (tunnel) where the homogeneous magnet field essential for your examination is located. The MRI has a wide diameter of 70 cm and is open at both ends. The tunnel is equipped with air conditioning and lighting inside – both can be individually adjusted.  For an MRI examination of the knee, for example, your knee is in a coil in the centre of the tunnel and your upper body is outside of the tube. 

The control system for the examination is located at the workstation outside the MRI room. You maintain voice and visual contact with the medneo staff at all times while in the examination room. Because the MRI measurements are quite loud for technical reasons, you are given headphones (with music if desired) or earplugs. Moreover, you are also provided with a signal device that allows you to get the attention of the staff at any time during the examination. Relax and do not move during the measurements! Otherwise the images will not be clear as the signals emitted from your body will be blurred and it is possible they cannot be used. In this case, the measurement has to be repeated. For some MRI examinations, it is necessary to use a contrast agent. This type of contrast agent is developed especially for MRI and is very well tolerated. It increases the diagnostic validity of the MRI and more clearly differentiates tissue types from each other. 

After about four to six measurements, which usually last one to two minutes, and occasionally longer, the exam is complete. You are then moved back into the preparation room and can get dressed there.

What should I take into consideration after the examination?

If an intravenous contrast agent has been administered during the examination, drink plenty fluids (at least 1-2 litres). If you have been given a sedative due to claustrophobia, you are not permitted to drive any kind of vehicle or operate any machines for 24 hours.

What can be seen on an MRI image and what cannot?

MRI images are normally black and white cross-sectional images. These can be implemented at different planes. You can see longitudinal sections, cross sections or side sections on the images.  Computer programs also make it possible to present precisely targeted tissues and organs in different shades of grey. Unlike during X-ray or computer tomography where the dense tissue is always represented as light and less dense tissue always as dark, magnetic resonance imaging offers more options. Depending on the objective, it is possible to highlight different structures on the images. 

The more hydrogen atoms an organ or tissue contains, the better it can be displayed by means of MRI. Structures with high signal intensity stand out from the surrounding tissue as light areas while those that have low signal intensity are darker than their surroundings. 

This method is especially well suited for examinations of soft tissue such as the brain or inner organs, for example. Inflammations or tumours in bones often stand out very clearly against the healthy bone tissue. 

What is the difference between MRI and CT?

Both computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produce cross-sectional images of the body. 

For a CT, the patient is passed through a very short X-ray scanner in which transverse cross-sectional images of the body are generated by means of X-ray radiation. The images can be reconstructed in different orientations and also reproduced as three-dimensional images. The radiation exposure during a CT is higher than for a classic X-ray. The examination delivers a diagnosis within just a few minutes. It is therefore often used for emergencies as well as for very ill or restless patients.

magnetic resonance tomography (MRI) works with a very strong magnetic field without any radiation exposure. Similar to a CT, the patient lies in a tube. It is slightly longer however. Cross-sectional images of the internal body can be taken in freely selectable perspectives. MRI features a very high soft tissue contrast. Radiation-free MRI is often touted as a competitor to CT; however both methods are complementary and the optimal diagnostic method will be individually selected by your physician depending on the part to be examined, the diagnostic problem and the personal situation of the patient.

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