What Can I Expect During A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Examination in the Imaging Research Center (IRC)?

  • A Research Coordinator will explain your study upon arrival. You will also fill out an MRI Screening Sheet to make sure that it is safe for you to enter the magnet room. This sheet will be reviewed by the IRC technologist before your entry into the magnet room.
  • You will be asked to remove and store any objects containing metal so that there is no interference with the magnet. These include coins, watches and other jewelry, hair clips, keys, cell phones, pagers, credit cards, and dentures. People with cardiac pacemakers or cardiac valves are not allowed in the magnet room. People with aneurysm clips are not allowed in the magnet room unless the patient has proof that the clip is MRI compatible. The type of clip and manufacture of the clip must be known.
  • Depending on the part of your body to be scanned, you may be asked to change into scrubs.
  • The IRC technologist will prepare you for the examination by giving you all necessary equipment to fulfill the needs of the study. The technologist will also clip a gray “emergency button” to your shirt. The button is only to be utilized if you are having difficulty in the scanner. The technologist will stop the MR machine if you squeeze the emergency button.
  • You will be lying flat on a padded table for a period of time while the study is in progress. The IRC technologist will do everything possible to make you comfortable. Please feel free to communicate your needs with the technologist and the research coordinator.
  • During the exam you may hear multiple tapping noises and feel vibration or shaking. This is normal. The knocking may be loud enough to require ear plugs or head phones. During the examination, you will be able to listen to music through the headphones, watch a video, perform tasks related to the study, and to communicate with the technologist at all times via intercom.
  • Only the portion of the body that is being imaged must be in the center of the magnet. For example if the head is being imaged, it must be in the magnet. If the knees are being imaged, they must be in the center.
  • You should not move when you are in the magnet, especially while you hear the knocking noise. It is particularly important that you not move the body part being imaged during the study. If you need to stretch a muscle, you may do so in between image acquisition, when the knocking noise has stopped.
  • You may talk to the technologist when the MR machine is not making noise/vibrations, via intercom. It’s best to talk, however, in between the pictures, to minimize any motion.