Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)



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.



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)


NIH Clinical Center 

RadiologyInfo—Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 


Health Canada 

Public Health Agency of Canada 


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