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How Do You Prepare For An MRI?

Last modified: 
19/04/2012 - 13:57

For an "ordinary" MRI, no special preparation is required, but leave any jewelry or other metal objects at home.

Under certain conditions, specialized MRIs require dietary restrictions provided by the physician. These include:

  • When the MRI requires injection or ingestion of a contrast agent (a dye used for image enhancement)
  • When sedation or anesthesia is necessary
  • Other special considerations

It is important to notify the person performing the test of any illness, allergy, or previous drug reaction.

Need To Know:

Some people may feel uncomfortable, or even claustrophobic (fearful of being closed in) because the machine has a tunnel-like appearance. Most people can overcome this feeling, but for those who need assistance, the doctor can prescribe a tranquilizer for use before the procedure.

Open Scanners

Special scanners with open magnets exist for those people who are too claustrophobic and/or too large to fit in the regular machines. The image quality of the images obtained with some of the older open magnets is not quite as good as those obtained with regular magnets (but they're still quite exceptional).

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.