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5084 Villa Linde Parkway  Suite 7  Flint, MI 48532
Main Office Number: 810-720-3891  Office Fax Number: 810-720-3916
Email: completehs@hotmail.com

MRI / MRA Department

What is a MRI / MRA?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the body uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your body. It may be used to help diagnose or monitor treatment for a variety of conditions within the chest, abdomen and pelvis. 

Tell your doctor about any health problems, recent surgeries or allergies and whether there’s a possibility you are pregnant. The magnetic field is not harmful, but it may cause some medical devices to malfunction. Most orthopedic implants pose no risk, but you should always tell the technologist if you have any devices or metal in your body. Guidelines about eating and drinking before your exam vary between facilities. Unless you are told otherwise, take your regular medications as usual. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. If you have claustrophobia or anxiety, you may want to ask your doctor for a mild sedative prior to the exam.

What is MRI of the Body?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that physicians use to 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. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).

Detailed MR images allow physicians to evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD.

What are some common uses of this test?

  • Organs of the chest and abdomen—including the heart, liver, biliary tract, kidneys, spleen, bowel, pancreas, and adrenal glands.

  • Pelvic organs including the bladder and the reproductive organs such as the uterus and ovaries in females and the prostate gland in males.

  • Blood vessels (including MR Angiography).

  • Lymph nodes.

  • Tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis.

  • Diseases of the liver, such as cirrhosis, and abnormalities of the bile ducts and pancreas.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

  • Heart problems, such as congenital heart disease.

  • Malformations of the blood vessels and inflammation of the vessels (vasculitis).

 

How should I prepare for this test?

You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or you may be allowed to wear your own clothing if it is loose-fitting and has no metal fasteners.

Guidelines about eating and drinking before an MRI exam vary with the specific exam and also with the imaging facility. Unless you are told otherwise, you may follow your regular daily routine and take food and medications as usual.

Some MRI examinations may require you to receive an injection of contrast material into the bloodstream. The  technician or a nurse may ask if you have allergies of any kind, such as an allergy to iodine or x-ray contrast material, drugs, food, or the environment, or if you have asthma. 

You should also let the technician know if you have any serious health problems, or if you have had any recent surgeries. Some conditions, such as severe kidney disease, may prevent you from being given  contrast for an MRI. If you have a history of kidney disease or liver transplant, it will be necessary to perform a blood test to determine whether the kidneys are functioning adequately.

Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

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 your 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 items are not allowed in the exam room. These items include:

  • jewelry, watches, credit cards and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged

  • pins, hairpins, metal zippers and similar metallic items, which can distort MRI images

  • removable dental work

  • pens, pocket knives and eyeglasses

  • body piercings

In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. People with the following implants cannot be scanned and should not enter the MRI scanning area:

You should tell the technician if you have medical or electronic devices in your body. These objects may interfere with the exam or potentially pose a risk, depending on their nature and the strength of the MRI magnet. Many implanted devices will have a pamphlet explaining the MRI risks for that particular device. If you have the pamphlet, it is useful to bring that to the attention of the technician or scheduler before the exam. Some implanted devices require a short period of time after placement (usually six weeks) before being safe for MRI examinations. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • artificial heart valves

  • implanted drug infusion ports

  • artificial limbs or metallic joint prostheses

  • implanted nerve stimulators

  • metal pins, screws, plates, stents or surgical staples

In general, metal objects used in orthopedic surgery pose no risk during MRI. However, a recently placed artificial joint may require the use of another imaging procedure.

Patients who might have metal objects in certain parts of their bodies may also require an x-ray prior to an MRI. You should notify the technician of any shrapnel, bullets, or other pieces of metal which may be present in your body due to prior accidents. Foreign bodies near and especially lodged in the eyes are particularly important. Dyes used in tattoos may contain iron and could heat up during MRI, but this is rarely a problem. Tooth fillings and braces usually are not affected by the magnetic field, but they may distort images of the facial area or brain, so the technician should be aware of them.

Schedule Appointment

810-720-3891