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Magnetic Resonance - MR

Magnetic Resonance (MR) does not use radiation to produce images of the body. MR uses a process of passing radio waves through a powerful magnet to generate images of the body. The various body structures produce differing frequencies of radio waves and these are picked up and converted into digital images by a computer. MR can image virtually any part of the body but it is especially good for imaging soft tissues such as the brain, spine and joints as well as the venous and arterial systems.

Patient Expectation

For all MRI examinations, patients routinely change into a procedure gown and are laying on a table. Prior to starting the procedure, the technologist will place a device called a “coil” over the body part to be examined. The coil is a device that sends and receives the radio frequency waves during the examination. As the procedure starts, the table will move into the magnet. During the procedure, the table may move and you will hear a variety of noises ranging from a humming to a loud knocking sound. These are all normal sounds and you will be provided with earplugs and headphones to diminish the impact of the noise. The particular examination you are having may require the injection of contrast material through a vein in your arm and the technologist will explain that process to you.

During the procedure it is important that you hold very still in order to obtain the best possible images. MR procedure time can range between 30 – 60 minutes. The technologist will be able to communicate with you during the procedure via a microphone in the control room. You will also be provided with a push button hand held communication device in the event you need assistance from the technologist. The technologist will explain the use of that device with you prior to starting the procedure.

Patient Preparation

Most MR examinations do not have specific dietary restrictions or other physical preparations. However, when your procedure is scheduled, our staff will review with you all preparation information that may apply. Due to the strong magnetic field, there is a detailed screening protocol to make sure there are no metal objects (loose or implanted within your body) that may pose a safety hazard to you, our staff, or to our equipment. The technologist will review this process with you in detail prior to entering the MR procedure room.

For patients that are anxious or that may suffer from claustrophobia and have concerns about holding still during the examination, a family member or friend who has been screened and cleared to enter, can remain in the procedure room for support and comfort.

Some patients may require a mild anxiety-relieving medication to assist with the anxious feeling or claustrophobia. This can be prescribed for you by your physician if necessary.

Procedure Side Effects / Complications

Magnetic Resonance (MR) does not cause any known side effects. For patients that may be pregnant, it is important to notify the staff. Although there are no known effects on the fetus, your scan may be modified or scheduled later in your pregnancy.

Some patients may experience a ringing in the ears following the procedure but this is temporary and should pass quickly. The earplugs and headphones used during the procedure should minimize the ringing in the ears following the procedure.

Some patients may experience a complication to the injection of contrast material and develop an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions may result in itching, sneezing, hives, or other allergic symptoms. In more rare cases, the contrast material may trigger anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction in which the airway can become swollen enough to restrict breathing. In such cases, emergency treatment is administered immediately.

Follow-up Care

Upon completion of your Magnetic Resonance (MR) examination, there is generally no follow-up care required.


All radiology procedures are scheduled through our Centralized Scheduling Department. The highly trained and knowledgeable staff will handle all aspects of scheduling your radiology procedure and answer any questions you may have regarding the scheduling or procedure preparation process. To schedule a radiology procedure you can contact our staff as follows:

Centralized Scheduling: 909.469.9395

Hours: Monday – Friday / 8:30 am. – 5:00 pm.