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Otago Radiology

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

The MRI  procedure uses a combination of magnetic fields and radio waves to produce an image.  This method delivers clear images without  exposure to Xrays.  It looks at the body in a different way to a CT.
 
What to expect?
Because you lie in a powerful magnet wewill go through a check list with you to ensure that no metal  that may be attracted to it is introduced.    You will lie down on a narrow padded moveable table that will be slid into the scanner, through a circular opening.
You will feel nothing while the scan is in progress, but some people can feel slightly claustrophobic or closed in, whilst inside the scanner.  The procedure can be noisy but you have earphones to listen to music - you can bring a favorite CD with you if you wishYou will be asked to remain still and hold your breath on command.  There are staff present, but they will not necessarily remain in the room, but will speak with you via an intercom system and will be viewing the procedure constantly through a windowed control room, from where they will run the scanner.
Some procedures will require an injection of Contrast Medium.  Contrast medium is a substance that makes the image of the CT or MRI clearer.
The scan time will vary depending on the type of examination required, but as a rule it will take around 30-45 minutes.

This page was last updated at 3:14PM on October 7, 2014. This information is reviewed and edited by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).