There are a few things to worry about finding a tattoo, such as finding a hygienic and reputable artist, ending with ink nanoparticles in lymph nodes, and possible cancer-like symptoms within 15 years. But you can scratch get MRI from this list.
According to new research, there is very little risk that tattooed patients, when they receive a scan, do nothing wrong.
Wait … little risk? Does this mean that there is some risk? As it turns out, yes.
Tattoos are made using a fine needle to deposit the ink under the dermis and the epidermis, which is too large for your immune system to break down, most colored particles will remain permanent.
But not all tattoo inks are created the same. Ink compositions can vary not only between colors, but also between manufacturers. So, if you're not careful, for example, you can get an allergic reaction to a particular pigment.
Tattoo inks can contain titanium dioxide, lead, cobalt, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, nickel and black. They may also contain iron pigments, such as iron oxides – and that is where MRIs may have problems.
This is because MRI is short for magnetic resonance imaging, and the black materials are magnetic. So when you get into a highly magnetized tube and you have low skin ferromagnetic particles, well, maybe you're not that long.
According to the 2011 report in the medical journal Sports healthOne patient even received a "burn" from his tattoo while he was taking an MRI. "These compounds can theoretically produce an electrical current that increases the local skin temperature, enough to cause skin burn," the paper said.
And according to the FDA, some patients may experience swelling or burning in the tattoo during MRI.
But given the fact that millions of tattooed people around the world have incidents every year, MRI, a team of researchers at the German Institute of Cognitive and Brain Science, and the University of London's Wellcome Center for Human Neuroimaging in the UK. determines the actual risk.
They scanned 330 volunteers with at least one tattoo on an MRI machine and analyzed each tattoo just before and after. Overall, the study included 932 tattoos from around the world and no more than 20 centimeters (8 inches).
"We found that most of the participants did not notice the side effects of tattoos," said physicist Nikolaus Weiskopf of the Max Planck Institute.
"There was one particular case that the study doctor found that the side effects – tingling sensation on the skin – were related to the scan. However, this discomfort disappeared within 24 hours if the victim did not need treatment."
In all researchers, the probability of an adverse reaction was between 0.17 and 0.3 percent – or 1.7 and 3 of 1000. This is not a huge risk. There are no zeros – but it seems that the reactions can come from mild tingling to burn, so the risk of an emergency reaction is less.
However, it is worth noting, as in the 2005 Annual Report. T. American Journal of Nursingthe fact that black ink tattoos can cause the image artefacts that appear in the scan, resulting in the image not being diagnostically useful.
But it's not all bad news for tattoo lovers – the more you get, the stronger the immune system.
This is another great reason to try to study the ink components of your chosen studio before you dive.
Team research has been published New England Journal of Medicine.