Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Overview

Definition

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

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen. For example, MRI scans can be harmful in someone who has metal inside the body, such as:

  • Devices likes pacemakers, ear implants, insulin pumps, and shunts
  • Joint replacements, plates, or metal pins
  • Metal objects or pieces

A contrast dye may be used to take clearer pictures. Some people may have a reaction to this dye. Talk to your doctor about any allergies you have. Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney problems. These problems may make it hard for your body to get rid of the dye.

Pregnant women should talk to their doctors about the risks of having an MRI scan.

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 https://www.cc.nih.gov 

Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America https://www.radiologyinfo.org 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Association of Radiologists https://car.ca 

Canadian Radiation Protection Association http://www.crpa-acrp.ca 

References

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—body. Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America website. Available at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=bodymr. Accessed August 18, 2020.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Prostate cancer: diagnosis and treatment. NICE 2019 May:NG131.

Prostate cancer diagnosis and staging. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/evaluation/prostate-cancer-diagnosis-and-staging. Accessed August 18, 2020.