Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe and painless procedure. MRI
uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the
organs and tissues within your body without the use of ionizing radiation.
Depending on what your doctor is looking for, this test may be ordered
with or without IV contrast.
What are Intravenous Contrast (IV) Media?
To improve the visibility of soft tissues like organs, muscles, tendons,
& blood vessels in many parts of the body, the technologist must inject
contrast media into a vein. Some people refer to this as “dye”
although it’s not like the dye you may use at home. The contrast
media used in MRI is a non- iodine gadolinium based contrast agent (GBCA)
that improves the diagnostic accuracy of a MRI scan. It is removed through
the kidney, but will not change the color of you urine.
What to Bring
- Your physician order (your physician may have already sent this to us)
- Personal ID
- Insurance Card
- If you have an MRI safe implant, please bring your implant card and any
How to Prepare
- You should inform your physician if you have any allergies to contrast
- Unless your healthcare team or MRI technologist tells you otherwise, you
may follow your regular routine and take medication as usual.
- You should inform your physician if you have claustrophobia and need a
form of sedation.
- Wear loose comfortable clothing and avoid clothing with zippers, buttons,
or belts made of metal.
- Please leave valuable jewelry at home.
- If there is any possibility that you are pregnant, you should inform the
- If you have a history of kidney problems, you should inform the technologist.
- If you have had an adverse reaction during a prior MRI, you should inform
- If you have claustrophobia, you should inform the technologist.
- If you are wearing an on-body medication pump or any pain patches, you
should inform the technologist.
- If you have any internal implants such as: pain pump, pacemaker, defibrillator,
loop recorder, stimulator, etc., you should inform the technologist.
What to Expect
- This is a non-invasive exam.
- You may be asked to remove clothes and to wear a gown during your exam.
- You may be asked to remove jewelry, glasses, and any metal objects or clothing
that may interfere with the images.
- During the exam you will be placed on a table and positioned inside the
center of a large tube-like scanner with openings at both ends. The affected
knee will then be placed in a MRI coil. A MRI coil helps the MR machine
gather high-quality images of a specific body part and is essential in
- You will be given a squeeze ball. This will be your way of getting in touch
with the MRI Technologist during your MRI. If you have any questions or
feel any discomfort during the exam, you can squeeze the ball and the
MRI technologist will address any issue you may be encountering.
- The machine makes a significant amount of noise (hearing protection will
be supplied) and the table moves forward into the scanner and out when
study has been completed. The study is not painful.
- If your doctor ordered IV contrast, the technologist will start an IV in
a vein in your arm. The contrast will be injected through the IV. You
may feel a cool sensation going up arm.
- For a non-contrast exam, the exam should take about 25 minutes. For a contrast
exam, the exam should take about 40 minutes allowing time for the technologist
to start your IV.
Screening Forms for this Test:
- Prior to scan, MRI technologist will go over a series of questions and
have you sign a screening form for any metal or mechanical implants in
the body to ensure you have been cleared to go into the Magnet.
- Included in this form is a contrast acknowledgement section. If your exam
is ordered with contrast, the technologist will read you a statement and
will ask for your signature if you are ok with receiving the IV contrast.