Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Overview

Definition

An MRI uses magnetic waves and computers to make pictures of the inside of the body. It can make 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional pictures.

Possible Complications

MRIs can be harmful if you have metal inside your body including:

  • Medical devices likes pacemakers, ear implants, insulin pumps, and shunts
  • Joint replacements, plates, or metal pins
  • Metal objects or fragments in your body—An x-ray may be done before the MRCP.

Make sure your doctor knows of any internal metal before the test.

If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, talk to your doctor before the MRI scan about whether an MRI scan is right for you.

A contrast dye may be used to enhance some images. Some people may have a reaction to this dye. Talk to your doctor about any allergies you have or if you have liver or kidney problems. Liver and kidney problems may make it difficult for your body to get rid of the contrast.

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Treatments

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Imaging, Magnetic Resonance; MRI Scan; MRI)

RESOURCES

NIH Clinical Center http://www.cc.nih.gov 

RadiologyInfo—Radiological Society of North America, Inc.  http://www.radiologyinfo.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca 

Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca 

References

Hailey D. Open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. Issues Emerg Health Technol. 2006 Nov;(92):1-4.

Kanal E, Barkovich A.J., et al. ACR Guidance Document for Safe MR Practices: 2013. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2013;37(3):501-530.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—body. Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=bodymr. Updated February 12, 2014. Accessed February 18, 2016.

1/4/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance  http://www.dynamed.com : US Food and Drug Administration. New warnings required on use of gadolinium-based contrast agents. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm225286.htm. Updated September 9, 2010. Accessed January 26, 2015.

5/17/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance  http://www.dynamed.com : Patenaude Y, Pugash D, et al. The use of magnetic resonance imaging in the obstetric patient. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2014 Apr;36(4):349-355. Available at: http://sogc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/gui306PPG1404E.pdf. Accessed January 26, 2015.