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What is an MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases, MRI gives different information about structures in the body that can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan. MRI also may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.

For a MRI test, the area of the body being studied is placed inside a special machine that contains a strong magnet. Pictures from an MRI scan are digital images that can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. The images also can be reviewed remotely, such as in a clinic or an operating room.

Why Is It Done?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is done for many reasons. It is used to find problems such as tumors, bleeding, injury, blood vessel diseases, or infection. MRI also may be done to provide more information about a problem seen on an x-ray, ultrasound scan, or CT scan. Contrast material may be used during MRI to show abnormal tissue more clearly. A MRI may be used for all parts of the body and is effective in the clinical evaluation of the following conditions:

  • Brain Disorders
  • Traumatic Injuries
  • Eye Abnormalities
  • Spine Disease
  • Tumor Detection
  • Liver & Other Abdominal Disease
  • Knee and Shoulder Injuries
  • Neck Abnormalities
  • Infection
  • Cardiac Malformations
  • Blood Flow and Vessel Disorders

How To Prepare

Before your MRI test, tell your health care provider and the MRI technologist if you:

  • Are allergic to any medicines
  • Are or might be pregnant
  • Have a pacemaker, artificial limb, any metal pins or metal parts in your body (especially in the eyes), metal heart valves, metal clips in your brain, metal implants in your ear, tattooed eyeliner, or any other implanted or prosthetic medical device (such as a medicine infusion pump)
  • Have had an accident or work around metal
  • Had recent surgery on a blood vessel
  • Have an intrauterine device (IUD) in place
  • Become very nervous in confined spaces
  • Have any other health conditions, such as kidney problems or sickle cell anemia, that may prevent you from having an MRI using contrast material
  • Wear any medication patches

Because of the magnetic field, you will be asked to leave the following items in a safe place outside the scan room:

  • Coins
  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Glasses
  • Credit Cards
  • Keys
  • Hair Pins
  • Other Metal Objects

You may also be asked to remove makeup, dentures and wear a hospital gown to avoid magnetic interference from belt buckles or zippers.

Additional Instructions

  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time
  • The exam may require an injection of contrast
  • The average length of the exam is between 30 and 60 minutes

If Needed:

  • Please take any pain medication 30 minutes prior to MRI to help you hold still for the exam
  • No Oral sedation medications for claustrophobia are given at the time of your MRI. If needed, a prescription must be obtained from your healthcare provider and taken 45 minutes prior to MRI. If sedation is taken, a driver will be needed after the exam.

Our Equipment

3T GE Signa Pioneer

Click here to learn more about our 3T MRI.

  • MRI Arthrograms: Hip, Knee, Shoulder, Wrist
  • MRI Abdomen
  • MRI Prostate
  • MRI Enterography
  • MRA Renals
  • MRA/MRV Brain
  • MRA Carotids
  • MRA Aorta w/Runoffs
  • Screening
  • Diagnostic

Your Appointment

MRIs and MRAs are performed on the lower level of our 1118 Hampshire Street building.

If you need to reschedule your appointment or if you have questions, please call 217-222-6550, ext. 3284.