Prostate MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging provides prostate MRI services using the latest technology. Every scan is read by a radiologist with specialty training.
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About This Test

Prostate MRI images

Prostate MRI provides additional information that
helps doctors locate and understand prostate-
tumor activity.

Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging provides prostate MRI services at on our main campus in Boston. 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.

Prostate MRI overview

  • An MRI machine produces a strong magnetic field and radio waves. The atoms in your body respond to this energy in a certain way. The MRI detects this response and uses it to construct detailed images.
  • MRI does not use X-ray radiation.
  • MRI excels at imaging soft tissue; it is used to look at various internal organs, including the prostate.
  • Exams typically take 45 minutes.
  • A prostate MRI involves contrast—an injection that makes the images more vivid and informative.
  • If you are over 60 or have kidney disease, diabetes, lupus, or multiple myeloma, a blood test before your exam is necessary to make sure the contrast is safe for you.
  • Because of the strong magnet, we need to make absolutely sure you don’t have any metal objects with you. We also need to know details about any implants in your body.
  • The technologist performing your exam will be nearby and able to talk to you throughout the scan.
  • MRI exams require that you lie still in a confined space. Most people have no problem, but talk to your doctor if you are concerned. Your doctor may prescribe a sedative (we cannot provide such medication).
  • Every exam is interpreted by a radiologist with specialty expertise in the specific area of the body under study. A specialist is capable of seeing and understanding subtle things due to advanced training and singular focus.
  • We use the latest technology, including high-resolution 3T scanners. On-staff physicists and engineers ensure that our machines remain in top condition.

 

What to Expect

Prostate MRI images

Multiparametric MRI of the prostate showing
bilateral tumor in the peripheral zone.

Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging provides prostate MRI services at on our main campus in Boston. 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.

Prostate MRI in depth

What is a prostate 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.

Prostate MRI uses a special form of MRI called DCE (dynamic contrast enhanced) MRI, which looks at how your body's tissues absorb a contrast material over time. Because tumors act differently than normal tissue, this can help to pinpoint and characterize tumor activity. Sophisticated image-analysis software helps radiologists to interpret the MRI results.

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.

Safety

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.

Patients with any kind of metallic implant anywhere in their body should not have a prostate 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.

 

News

  • Advanced MRI pinpoints prostate tumors - 7/22/2011, Clinical

    To provide doctors with the most accurate information, Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging is now providing advanced prostate MRI exams.

Video

  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

    Images of Imaging: MRI

    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.

  • Imaging specialists, focused on you

    Imaging specialists, focused on you

    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.

Request an Appointment

Call to request an appointment 617-724-9729

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