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MRI - FAQ

  • MRI is an imaging technique that employs a noninvasive strong magnetic field and radiowaves to create images. It is painless and has the advantage of not using any ionizing radiation. There are no known side effects of the scan.

    However, as the magnetic field's very strong, it is very important to notify the technologist if you have any implants or metallic foreign bodies. It is necessary to remove all metallic objects such as keys and watches before entering the scan room. An information sheet must be completed before starting a scan for the safety measures. In some cases, the examination cannot be performed due to certain implants. They are:
    • Cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator
    • Implanted electronic devices
    • Aneurysm clips
    • Neural stimulators
    • Foreign metallic object in the eyes
    • Cochlear implants
    • Prosthetic heart valve
    • Newly placed orthopedics metallic implant or pin
    • Permanent tattoo or eyeliner

  • MRI will not affect the fillings. However, occasionally, the metal within the fillings will distort the images, especially if the scan is of the facial area.

  • During the MR study you will be lying in the MR scanner, which is a tunnel-like device. You should lie as still as possible to avoid degrading the images. The length of your stay in the magnet is approximately 30 minutes per body part examined, but this amount of time depends on your unique history.

    The scanner generates loud knocking noises during the scan and you will be given ear plugs to minimize the noise. Throughout the test, you will be able to speak to the technologist via an intercom.

  • Yes! Most patients who are claustrophobic can still undergo an MRI exam with the assistance of our staff (An intercom system is available between patient and technologist and an emergency call bell will be provided.) Some patients require mild sedation with medication prescribed by physician. If you prefer, a family member can sit in the room to provide support throughout your scan after he or she is screened for metal on or in the body.

  • Depending on the exam ordered by your physician and the clinical indication, you may be required to have contrast agent administered intravenously. Our staff member will discuss this with you before proceeding with this exam. The contrast agent used during an MRI scan typically has few or no side effects.

  • In some examinations, intravenous contrast agent (Gadolinium) may be administered to you in order to obtain more diagnostic information. In general, contrast medium is a safe drug. However, side effects or reaction may occasionally occur. The types of reaction you may have are:

    Mild reactions:These include temporary metallic taste in the mouth, coldness / warmth / pain at injection site, itchy skin, nausea, headache. The chance of occurrence is less than 1 in 100 people.

    Severe reactions:As with many drugs, contrast media can cause death but is extremely rare. Bronchospasm or other severe adverse reactions are very uncommon with an occurrence of less than 1 in 130,000. You need to inform your doctor and our staff if you have previous history of allergy to gadolinium MRI contrast agent before examination.

    For 1-7% of the patients with severely impaired renal function or on dialysis, gadolinium MRI contrast agents are associated with nephrogenic systemic fibrosis and deaths been reported.

    Should you have any query, please ask our staff before entering the MRI scan room.

  • MRI is considered a safe test, and there is no ionizing radiation used. However, conclusive evidence showing how safe MRI is for pregnant women and the fetus is not yet available. MRI is generally not recommended during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy (first trimester).

    Prior to the test you may want to consult with your physician & the radiologist.

  • The more information that our Radiologist has when he reviews your study, the more specific the interpretation will be. Correlations with other studies are often helpful.

  • Yes, your physician will provide us with your necessary clinical information to perform the most accurate study.

  • Typically, your MRI scan will be examined by a radiologist who is specialist trained in interpretation of MRI. The radiologist in turn will issue a report to your physician, and your physician will then discuss the findings with you.