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Download the Patient Procedure Screening Form
Before your appointment for an MRI, please print and complete the Patient Procedure Screening Form.
Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging provides MRI exams on the Mass General main campus and at convenient community locations. No matter which facility you come to, our staff places priority on making your journey through the imaging process comfortable, safe, and successful. All images are read by a radiologist with specialty expertise in the area of the body being studied.
MRI in depth
What is an MRI exam?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is a valuable, painless, diagnostic test that allows radiologists to see inside some areas of the body that cannot be seen using conventional X-rays. MRI produces a series of cross-sectional pictures. MRI technology has advanced so much in recent years that it has greatly altered treatment courses. Physicians can detect many conditions in earlier stages, greatly optimizing patient outcomes.
Mass General Imaging uses state-of-the-art MRI scanners to take pictures with very high resolution. These images give your physician important information in diagnosing your medical condition and planning a course of treatment.
Areas of the body that may undergo an MRI scan include the head, chest, abdomen, vital organs, joints, spine or extremities such as hands, wrists, ankles, and feet. Our highly sophisticated scanners also have capability to diagnose diseases of blood vessels in the brain, neck, and body.
All of our equipment is maintained in top condition, meeting not only the standards set by the federal government, but also by those set by Mass General Hospital's health physicists.
MRI scanners do not use X-rays. Instead, they use a very strong magnet and radio frequency. Even so, it is important to tell the technologist if there is a chance you could be pregnant. There is no evidence that MRI is unsafe for a developing fetus; however, we are still careful in the use of MRI on pregnant patients.Patients with any kind of metallic implant anywhere in their body should not have an MRI unless their physician is fully aware of the device and has approved the MRI procedure. Under no circumstances should a patient who has a pacemaker have an MRI.
We welcome pediatric patients at our imaging centers. Specific time slots are reserved for pediatric MRIs so that pediatric nurses and technologists can spend extra time with children and families. Our staff, trained in the care of pediatric patients, works closely with MassGeneral Hospital for Children.
Please tell the technologist if you are, or might be, pregnant. In certain cases you may not be able to have an MRI and will need to discuss alternatives with your doctor.
What should I expect BEFORE my MRI exam?
What will I experience DURING my MRI exam?
What should I expect AFTER my MRI exam?
Mass General researchers have shown that a simple blood test for certain patients about to receive an MRI exam can stem a serious complication related to contrast agents.
Mass General study suggests the use of CT scans and MRI might shorten the length of a person's hospital stay.
All MRIs are not created equal: Look for expertise among those administering the exams and among the radiologists reading them.
Learn about MRI exams at Mass General Imaging. See what MRI scanners and images look like, understand MRI safety, and learn about the specialty-trained radiologists who interpret every scan.
Each radiologist at Mass General Imaging is a specialist in a particular area of the body. Department of Radiology Chairman Emeritus James H. Thrall, MD, explains how patients benefit from the additional specialty training our physicians have completed.
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