MRI is a painless procedure that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of organs and structures of the body. MRI is harmless and uses no x-rays. MRA is an MRI study of the blood vessels that utilizes MRI technology to detect, diagnose and aid the treatment of heart disorders, stroke and blood vessel diseases. In most cases, an MRA does not require the use of contrast.

If you are pregnant, please discuss with your physician prior to scheduling an MRI. Please also notify the schedulers when making your appointment, as well as the technician at the imaging center.

If you are claustrophobic, please discuss with your physician prior to scheduling an MRI. If you require sedation, it must be arranged in advance with your referring physician.

  • General Test Preperation
  • If you have brain aneurysm clips, a pacemaker, a history of metal fragments in your eye, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, please inform the technologist. It is important that you hold completely still during this test. This will improve the quality of your images. All personal belongings such as wallet, watch, car keys, cell phones, loose change or anything metal must be removed before entering the MRI room. A locker will be provided for storage of your personal belongings. Upon arrival, the technologist will review your medical history. You will be instructed to remove all personal belongings and all body piercings containing metal and may be asked to change into a gown. The scanner will make a loud knocking sound while making the pictures; therefore, earplugs will be provided for you or music can be played for you. If you will require sedation for this procedure, please make arrangements for someone to drive you home.

  • MRI - Brain
  • An MRI of the brain is used to determine if you have abnormalities within your brain tissue such as cancer, tumor, stroke, or others.

    • Prep
    • Patients should refrain from using heavy eye makeup. Also, see General Prep above.

    • What to expect during the test
    • You will be placed on a narrow imaging table that will move your head into the center of the scanner. A coil will be placed over your head to send an imaging signal to the scanner and the exam will last approximately 20-30 minutes. You may be given an injection of a small amount of MRI contrast called gadolinium part way through the exam. You will be asked to remain still during the pictures. The technologist will be in contact with you during the examination. You will be given a call button that will allow you to contact the technologist during the scan.    

  • MRA - Brain or neck
  • An MRA brain or neck is used to determine if you have abnormalities within your arteries such as an aneurysm, stenosis or blockage, or others.

    • Prep
    • General Prep only - see above

    • What to expect during the test
    • You will be placed on a narrow imaging table that will move your head or neck into the center of the scanner. A coil will be placed over your head or neck to send an imaging signal to the scanner and the exam will last approximately 20-30 minutes. The radiologist may give you an injection of a small amount of MRI contrast called gadolinium part way through the exam. You will be asked to remain still during the pictures. The technologist will be in contact with you during the examination. You will be given a call button that will allow you to contact the technologist during the scan.

  • MRI - Spine
  • An MRI of the spine is used to determine if you have abnormalities within your spinal column such as a herniated disc, compression fracture, spinal stenosis, cancer, tumor, infection, or others.

    • Prep
    • General Prep only - see above
    • What to expect during the test
    • You will be placed on a narrow imaging table that will move the body part being scanned into the center of the scanner. You will be lying on a coil that sends an imaging signal to the scanner and the exam will last approximately 30-40 minutes. You may be given an injection of a small amount of MRI contrast called gadolinium part way through exam. You will be asked to remain still during the pictures. The technologist will be in contact with you during the examination. You will be given a call button that will allow you to contact the technologist during the scan.  

  • MRI - Extremity
  • An MRI of the extremity joint or non-joint is used to determine if you have abnormalities within your hip, knee, ankle, foot, thigh, shoulder, elbow, or wrist such as torn tendons or ligaments, bone abnormalities, torn muscle tissue, or others.

    • Prep
    • General Prep - see above

    • What to expect during the test
    • You will be placed on a narrow imaging table that will move the body part being scanned into the center of the scanner. A coil will be placed over your joint or non-joint area to send an imaging signal to the scanner and the exam will last approximately 30-40 minutes. You will be asked to remain still during the pictures. The technologist will be in contact with you during the examination. You will be given a call button that will allow you to contact the technologist during the scan.  

  • MRI - Abdominal Region
  • An MRI of the abdominal region is used to determine if you have abnormalities within your abdomen such as lesions, tumors, cancer or infection, or others.

    • Prep
    • Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours prior to the test. Also, see General Prep above.
    • What to expect during the test
    • You will be placed on a narrow imaging table that will move your abdomen into the center of the scanner. A coil will be placed over your abdomen to send an imaging signal to the scanner and the exam will last approximately 30-40 minutes. The technologist will be monitoring your breathing and will be giving you breathing instructions throughout the exam. You may be given an injection of a small amount of MRI contrast called gadolinium part way through the exam. You will be asked to remain still during the pictures. The technologist will be in contact with you during the examination. You will be given a call button that will allow you to contact the technologist during the scan.  

  • MRA - Abdominal Region or Lower Extremity Run-off
  • An MRA of the abdominal region or lower extremity run-off is used to determine if you have abnormalities within your arteries such as an aneurysm, narrowing, blockage, or others.

    • Prep
    • Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours prior to the test. Also, see General Prep above.

    • What to expect during the test
    • You will be placed on a narrow imaging table that will move your abdomen into the center of the scanner. A small I.V. will be inserted into your arm through which you will be given an injection of a small amount of MRI contrast called gadolinium part way though the exam. For an abdominal scan a coil will be placed over your abdomen to send an imaging signal to the scanner, and the exam will last approximately 20-30 minutes. For a lower extremity run-off scan you will be lying on a coil that sends an imaging signal to the scanner, and the exam will last approximately 30-40 minutes. The technologist will be monitoring your breathing and will be giving you breathing instructions throughout the exam. You will be asked to remain still during the pictures. The technologist will be in contact with you during the examination. You will be given a call button that will allow you to contact the technologist during the scan.