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Clinician’s guide to the basic principles of MRI
  1. Syifa Azhar1,
  2. Le Roy Chong2
  1. 1Department of Radiology, SingHealth Group, Singapore
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Changi General Hospital, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Syifa Azhar, SingHealth Group, Singapore; syifa.azhar{at}


MRI is an important and widely used imaging modality for clinical diagnosis. This article provides a concise discussion of the basic principles of MRI physics for non-radiology clinicians, with a general explanation of the fundamentals of signal generation and image contrast mechanisms. Common pulse sequences, tissue suppression techniques and use of gadolinium contrast with relevant clinical applications are presented. Knowledge of these concepts would provide an appreciation of how MR images are acquired and interpreted to facilitate interdisciplinary understanding between radiologists and referring clinicians.

  • Diagnostic radiology
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

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  • Contributors SA: gathered literature, wrote the manuscript, created the figures and sourced the images. LRC: conceptualised the review, gathered literature, reviewed the manuscript and figures.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.