Magnetic Resonance Imaging
What is an MRI exam?
MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images or "slices" of the human body. MRI offers several benefits over other cross-sectional imaging methods: (a) it can acquire direct views of the body in any orientation, (b) it does not use x-ray radiation, (c) it provides images with excellent contrast detail of soft tissues and anatomic structures, and (d) it can create detailed images of blood vessels, often without the use of injected contrast media.
Precautions and Contraindications to MRI Examination
You will be contacted by telephone prior to your examination to go over a screening questionnaire (if we cannot contact you, this can be filled out on arrival - try to arrive ten minutes earlier than scheduled). The questionnaire includes the following:
Unfortunately, despite the fact that MRI is a very safe procedure, some people will experience claustrophobia during an MRI examination. If you have had a prior claustrophobic MRI experience or if you have reason to believe you are strongly claustrophobic, please let us know - in most cases we can schedule you for an examination on one of our "open" MRI machines, which greatly reduce the incidence of claustrophobia.
Tell your doctor, our office staff or the technologist if you are allergic to any medicine(s) or have had a prior reaction to MR injected contrast material.
Pacemakers and other implanted electronic devices
Tell your doctor, our office staff or the technologist if you have a pacemaker or other implanted electronic device: in most cases, you will be unable to safely undergo an MRI examination.
Implanted metal devices:
Tell your doctor, our office staff or the technologist if you have any metal plates, pins, screws, surgical staples or aneurysm clips in your body. Most of these are safe for MRI but we need to know about them in advance to make a determination of how they may affect your exam.
Preparing for MRI Examinations:
MRI examinations generally do not require special preparation. Some procedures will require injection of contrast media. This will be determined by the radiologist planning your examination.