Magnetic resonance imaging uses radio waves and a strong magnet field rather than X-rays to produce very detailed, cross-sectional images of the body. MRI requires specialized equipment and expertise and allows evaluation of body structures that may not be as visible with other imaging methods. An MRI produces images of the body similar to CT scans without using radiation.

Preparation for Your Examination

  • Your physician or Imaging Services will inform you of specific instructions in preparations for an MRI
  • Inform your physician or MR technologist if you believe there is a chance of pregnancy
  • You will be asked to complete a MRI questionnaire prior to your examination
  • If your MRI requires intravenous contrast, you may need specific blood work done prior to administration
  • If you are claustrophobic or experience pain when lying on your back for long period of times, please inform your physician or MR Technologist

MRI Examination Description

The length of examination can vary from 30 minutes to 2 hours per section of anatomy being imaged. You will be asked to remove jewelry, glasses, coins, keys, credit cards and any clothing with metal objects. The MR technologist will place a special plastic or padded coil around the body part being examined. You shouldn't feel anything during the scan. You will hear a thumping, humming and/or knocking noise. Special headphones can be provided to allow you to enjoy a variety of music. The MR suite is chilly, so you may want to wear appropriate clothing. If you have any questions, please contact the Imaging Services Department at (812) 237-1625.