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Original Release Date
May 2004

Revision Dates
December 2009
April 2012


Expiration Date
May 1, 2017


Thomas Schrack, BS, ARMRIT
Manager, MR Education and Technical Development
Fairfax Radiological Consultants
Fairfax, VA

Equipment Requirements
PC: Win7/Win8, Pentium processor or faster, at least 2GB RAM, Internet Explorer version 10/11, Mozilla FireFox version 33.0.

MAC: OS version 10.8/10.9, Intel processor, at least 2GB RAM, Safari version 6.2, FireFox 33.0

Note: You must have a PDF reader installed to view the course material. If you are not able to view the PDF, please download Acrobat Reader from the Adobe website and follow the installation instructions.

MRI for Technologists:
MRI of the Brain and Spine

Format: Online Activity
Credit:  3.0 ARRT Category A
Fee for Credit Certificate: $24

Click ENROLL NOW to view or download this program and complete the POSTTEST online.

MRI for Technologists is a training program designed to meet the needs of radiologic technologists entering and/or working in the field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These units are designed to augment classroom instruction and on-site training for radiologic technology students and professionals planning to take the review board examinations, as well as to provide a review for those looking to refresh their knowledge base in MR imaging.

The skill of the technologist is the single most important factor in obtaining good quality diagnostic images. A successful MRI examination is the culmination of many factors under the direct control of the technologist.

MRI for Technologists: MRI of the Brain and Spine introduces the learner to the concepts and techniques used in neuroradiological imaging, including surface coil technology, imaging applications, pulse sequences, disease processes, and protocols.

At the conclusion of this educational activity, the reader will be able to:

  • Describe current surface coil technology, field strength and gradient power, and pulse sequences that drive MRI of the central nervous system
  • Characterize specific applications of MR brain imaging, including demyelinating disease, primary brain tumors, and vascular disease
  • Explain the techniques of MR angiography and venography
  • Discuss why MRI of the fetal brain is superior to ultrasound
  • Describe various differential diagnoses including infections, inflammatory, and vascular disease and the role of MRI in narrowing the diagnosis
  • Apply the correct imaging pulse sequence, plane, and coverage for the major clinical indications for brain MRI
  • List the main clinical indications for spinal MRI
  • Discuss the most common disease processes evaluated by MRI of the spine
  • Describe the most common pulse sequences used for spine imaging
  • Explain fundamental imaging requirements for spine imaging

This program has been approved by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) for 3.0 hours of ARRT Category A continuing education credit.

Estimated time to complete this activity is 3.0 hours. The posttest and evaluation are required to receive credit and must be completed online.

  • In order to access the posttest and evaluation, enroll in the online course at
  • Read the entire activity.
  • Log in to your account at to complete the posttest and evaluation, accessible through the course link in your account.
  • A passing grade of at least 75% is required to be eligible to receive credit.
  • You may take the test up to three times.
  • Upon receipt of a passing grade, you will be able to print a certificate of credit from your online account.
  • There is a $24 fee to process a certificate of credit.


Thomas Schrack, BS, ARMRIT
Manager, MR Education and Technical Development
Fairfax Radiological Consultants
Fairfax, VA

While currently serving as Manager of MR Education and Technical Development at Fairfax Radiological Consults, Mr. Schrack also serves as Adjunct Faculty Instructor for Northern Virginia Community College, teaching MR physics and clinical procedures. He also serves on the Board of Examiners of the American Registry of MRI Technologists.

Prior to joining Fairfax Radiological Consultants, Mr. Schrack was employed by GE Healthcare in several roles, including advanced high-field applications development as 1.5T Marketing Manager. He is the author of Echo Planar Imaging: An Applications Guide, GE Healthcare, 1996; contributing author, Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine with David Stroller, MD, 1997; and co-author of two modules in the series titled MRI for Technologists: Technical Considerations of MRI and Body Applications of MRI with International Center for Postgraduate Medical Education, 2006 and 2009, respectively.

Mr. Schrack is a graduate of James Mason University, North Virginia Community College, and The Pittsburgh NMR Institute.

ICPME is committed to providing learners with high-quality continuing education (CE) that promotes improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest.

A conflict of interest (COI) exists when an individual has both a financial relationship with a commercial interest and the opportunity to control the content of CE relating to the product or services of that commercial interest. A commercial interest is defined as any proprietary entity producing healthcare goods or services with the following exemptions: (1) governmental agencies, eg, the NIH; (2) not-for-profit organizations; and (3) CE honoraria received by the faculty or advisors, planners and managers, or their spouse/life partner.

The following faculty, planners, advisors, and managers have NO relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CE activity:

Tom Schrack, BS, ARMRIT        
Jacqueline Bello, MD, FACR
Kate Latimer, BSRS, RT (R)(MR)(CT)
Linda McLean, MS
Victoria Phoenix, BS
Lisa H. Schleelein, MEd

For their insightful reviews of the material, special thanks go to:

Jacqueline Bello, MD, FACR
Director of Neuroradiology
Professor of Clinical Radiology and Neurosurgery    
Montefiore Medical Center    
Albert Einstein College of Medicine                    
Bronx, NY

Kate Latimer, BSRS, RT (R)(MR)(CT)
Clinical Education Coordinator for MRI
Health Technologies Division
Forsyth Technical Community College
Winston-Salem, NC    

Recognition is also due the author of the original material, Gordon Sze, MD, for his significant and lasting contributions.





Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals

Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.