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MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Medical imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses magnets and radio waves to view the body's interior without surgery. 

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MRI is particularly useful for imaging the brain and spine, as well as the soft tissues of joints and the interior structure of bones. The entire body is visible to the technique, which poses few known health risks. The imaging is painless. The high field MRI surrounds the body like a hoop.

The latest addition to MRI technology is magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), which was developed to study blood flow.

An imaging procedure typically lasts 30 to 60 minutes depending on the type of information requested by your physician.  

In some cases, you may be given a contrast agent that enhances the MRI image. We use only safe, FDA-approved contrast agents. 

Your exam will be performed by a registered radiologic technologist. You will not feel anything. You will hear a drumming sound as the machine does its work, and you will be able to hear a technologist throughout the exam. 

During a child's exam, a parent may be in the room. When the exam is over, the technologist will assist you from the table and out of the room.

Source: Allina Health Medical Imaging
Reviewed by: Allina Health Medical Imaging

First published: 8/12/2019
Last reviewed: 8/12/2019