What is magnetic resonance imaging?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio-frequency pulses and a high-tech computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissue, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. There is no exposure to radiation with an MRI, and it is among the safest and most versatile of imaging methods.
Depending on the type of MRI exam, the procedure usually takes between 30 to 60 minutes. No recovery period is necessary. You may resume your usual activities and normal diet and medications immediately after the exam.
Some exams require the injection of a contrast through an intravenous (IV) line. It does not contain iodine and is less likely to cause side effects or allergic reactions. For a small, very specific number of scans, it may be necessary to hold your breath.