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

MRI scans can be harmful if you have metal inside your body, such as:

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

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 this test is right for you.

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.

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

Expert Panel on MR Safety, Kanal E, Barkovich AJ, et al. ACR guidance document on MR safe 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: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=bodymr. Updated May 24, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2018.

5/17/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance  http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114252/Routine-prenatal-care  : Patenaude Y, Pugash D, Lim K, et al. The use of magnetic resonance imaging in the obstetric patient. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2014;36(4):349-355. Available at: https://sogc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/gui306PPG1404E.pdf.