Frequently Asked Questions
What is an MRI and how is it different from a CT?
An MRI is a test that is like a CT but works differently. The CT uses x-ray to look at the part and MRI does not. The MRI looks inside the anatomy to show changes with the tissue. The other big difference is the MRI takes much longer to complete than a CT even though the machines look similar. MRI machines are loud and require ear plugs as a CT does not.
Is there radiation from an MRI?
No, there is no radiation exposure from an MRI. The magnet produces radiofrequency waves to scan the body part.
How long should an MRI take to do?
Most MRI exams should take an hour or less. If you are to have multiple exams or images of different parts, allow for about 30-40 minutes per area.
Can I have an MRI if I have a hip replacement?
Yes, hip replacements are safe for MRI; the metal will not be a concern for the scan.
Can I have an MRI if I have a pacemaker
No. Although the metal in the pacemaker is not a concern for the MRI scan, the effects of the magnet will turn the pacemaker off. Please tell your doctor if you have a pacemaker.
What if I am claustrophobic?
Let your doctor know if you do not like small places. He can give you medicine to help relax, and this may make you feel better.
What should I expect during the MRI?
As you have an MRI, you will lie flat and the table will move inside an opening like a CT scan. The machine is loud, and you will be asked to wear ear plugs. The technologist will explain the procedure, and please ask any questions about your test.
What is an MRA?
An MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram) is an MRI that looks just at the arteries and/or veins in an area of the body.
When and how long will it take to get my results?
The doctor in MRI will read the test the same day as it is done. Please contact your doctor as the report will be sent there for your doctor to explain the next step for you.
Learn more about MRIs at UAMS.