MRI

Now offering Wide Bore MRI

This new MRI comes with a 70 cm bore, offering a more comfortable experience for patients— especially larger individuals, children, and those prone to claustrophobia. This next‐generation MRI helps reduce exam time and the improved patient comfort features result in a cooler, quieter experience while delivering both uncompromised image quality and high productivity. The 1.5 Tesla field strength is the industry’s best‐known and most‐widely used. Its bore diameter and field of view make MR scans accessible to more patients who need them.

The SIGNA Voyager delivers images with greater clarity and less noise to allow your physician to get a better look at your specific area of concern. The systems also feature Acoustic Reduction Technology that delivers an enhanced patient experience by significantly reducing noise levels. Every part of this system design was based on making the experience easier for the patient including the softer table, softer coils for imaging, and a Newmatic MR Sound System to allow patients to listen to the music of their choice during the exam.

These highly advanced systems allow you to have the latest technology close to home.

What is MRI of the Body?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).

What are some common uses of the procedure?

MR imaging of the body is performed to evaluate:

  • organs of the chest and abdomen-including the heart, liver, biliary tract, kidneys, spleen, bowel, pancreas and adrenal glands
  • pelvic organs including the reproductive organs in the male (prostate and testicles) and the female (uterus, cervix and ovaries)
  • blood vessels (MR Angiography)
  • breasts
 

Guidelines about eating and drinking before an MRI exam vary with the specific exam and also with the facility. For some types of exams, you will be asked to fast for 8-12 hours. Unless you are told otherwise, you may follow your regular daily routine and take medications as usual.

Some MRI examinations may require the patient to swallow contrast material or receive an injection of contrast into the bloodstream. The radiologist or technologist may ask if you have allergies of any kind, such as allergy to iodine or x-ray contrast material, drugs, food, the environment, or asthma. However, the contrast material most commonly used for an MRI exam, called gadolinium, does not contain iodine and is less likely to cause side effects or an allergic reaction.

Pregnant women should not have this exam unless the potential benefit from the MRI exam is assumed to outweigh the potential risks.

If you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) or anxiety, you may want to ask your physician for a prescription for a mild sedative prior to the scheduled examination.

Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home if possible, or removed prior to the MRI scan. Because they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit, metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the exam room.

In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types.

You should notify the technologist or radiologist of any shrapnel, bullets, or other pieces of metal which may be present in your body due to accidents. You will need X-rays prior to your MRI to ensure your safety. 

Infants and young children usually require sedation to complete an MRI exam without moving. Moderate and conscious sedation can be provided at most facilities. A physician or nurse specializing in the administration of sedation to children will be available during the exam to ensure your child's safety.

The technologist will simply ask you to lie down on a cushioned table which will automatically move through the magnet. The technologist will be in contact with you throughout the exam. Depending on the type of exam and the equipment used, the entire exam is usually completed in 15 to 60 minutes. 

It is important to remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will share the results with you.

(This information is intended to serve as a simple guide. It can never replace the conversations with your own doctor. It is not a substitute for professional care.)

(Some information on this page was provided courtesy of The St. John Companies, Inc. PO Box 800460 Santa Clarita, CA 91380))