MRI

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a safe, painless, non-invasive test that uses magnetism, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed images of your body's organs, tissues and structures. It does not expose you to any radiation, so the scan can be repeated without any known adverse effects.

MRI may be used to evaluate various parts of the body including the brain, spine, chest, abdomen, pelvis, bones/joints and soft tissues. It can determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be diagnosed correctly with other imaging methods such as x-ray, ultrasound or CT (Computed Tomography).

During an MRI scan, you are placed on a table which slides into a large doughnut-shaped magnet. The MRI machine uses magnetic fields and radio frequency bursts to create detailed images of the organs, tissues and other structures inside your body.

The MRI scanner takes many thin 2-dimensional pictures, which the computer then assembles into 3-dimensional pictures. This allows the doctor to look layer by layer at the area being scanned and provides greater detail to aid in the diagnostic process.

Since magnetic fields are used to produce the images from an MRI, metal in your body can complicate the diagnostic process. You must inform us if you have a pacemaker, defibrillator, cerebral aneurysm clips, implanted neurostimulators, cochlear implants, etc.

Technology / Equipment

Mid-Delaware Imaging offers state of the art high field 1.5 Tesla closed MRI as well as open MRI for patients with claustrophobia.

Exams Preparations

Bring with you to the appointment:

  • Prescription from your doctor
  • Current insurance card
  • Picture identification
  • Credit card or cash for your insurance co-pay

When scheduling your appointment, notify our staff if you have any metal or medical/mechanical devices in your body. This exam may NOT be performed if you have a cardiac pacemaker, defibrillator, cerebral aneurysm clips or a metallic hearing implant.

You must remove all jewelry and any other metallic objects such as hearing aids, jeans with metal zippers, body piercings and removable dental work.

Additional prep for MRI with I.V. contrast
If you have impaired kidney function, are diabetic or are 50 years of age or older, ask your doctor about obtaining the appropriate laboratory tests to assess your kidney function prior to the MRI. The most important piece of information we will need is the renal GFR which is obtained during your blood work.

Present your identification, prescription and insurance card at the front desk. Several forms will be given to you to complete.

Be sure to inform the receptionist and technologist if you:

  • Have impaired kidney function or a history of kidney disease.
  • Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
  • Are currently taking any medications.
  • Have any metal in your body.
  • Have a pacemaker or an implanted medical device.
  • Have hearing aids.

Have any studies of the same body area from another facility. We like to compare the new MRI study with any previous studies to assist in the diagnostic process.

Patient Experience

The MRI technologist will confirm that you are free of all metal and review your medical history with you.

You will then be brought into the MRI suite and asked to lie down on the scanning table. The area of your body being scanned will be comfortably positioned in or near a special surface coil.

The scanning table you are lying on will be moved into the center of the magnet and the test will begin. Be sure to remain as still as possible to ensure the best possible images. Although the MRI technologist cannot stay in the room with you during the scan, he or she will be able to talk to you from outside the room through an intercom and likewise you will be able to communicate with the technologist.

Once all of the images have been recorded, the scanning table will move out of the MRI machine and the technologist will return to assist you off of the table.

The MRI scan can take from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the area of the body being scanned.

For MRI with I.V. contrast
After reviewing your medical history and medications, the technologist will place an intravenous needle into a vein in your arm. Then at a specific time in the exam, contrast will be injected into your I.V.

The first set of images is taken without contrast. Then the contrast will be administered and additional images will be taken.

Keep hydrated before and after your exam.

After The Exam

Your MRI will be interpreted by a board certified radiologist who will compare them to any previous studies and dictate a report, which is then faxed to your referring doctor within one or two days. Your physician will consider the radiologist's interpretation of your scan in the context of your overall care.

Further Information

If you would like additional information on this procedure, we recommend visiting the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) section of RadiologyInfo.org.