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Call Diagnostic Imaging at (425) 899-2831

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What is MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most technologically advanced diagnostic tools available. MRI uses a powerful magnet, low intensity radio frequency pulses and computer technology to create images of the soft tissues, muscles, nerves and bones in your body.

The main component of the MRI scanner is a large magnet. This magnet causes your body’s hydrogen atoms to align themselves in such a way as to receive radio signals from the magnetic resonance system.

When your body receives these signals, it reacts by sending its own radio signals back to the machine. It is this radio-frequency transmitted by your body that is computer-processed and turned into detailed images which are read by radiologists.

There are no known side effects of MRI and it uses no radiation. In many instances it replaces the need for CT or X-rays, which do utilize radiation to produce images.

Types of MRI

EvergreenHealth offers both the standard 1.5T (tesla) magnet and the faster, more powerful 3T magnet for improved diagnostics for brain, heart and musculoskeletal issues.

We also offer a wide bore version of the 3T magnet with a larger opening to better accommodate bariatric patients or patients with broad shoulders.

    Types of MRI scans

    • Abdominal
    • Heart
    • Cervical
    • Leg
    • Shoulder
    • Chest
    • Breast
    • Pelvis
    • Knee
    • Prostate
    • Head
    • Sinus
    • Lumbar
    • Arm

    Is it safe to have an MRI?

    For most patients, having an MRI exam is safe and painless. However, because the MRI uses a strong magnetic field, some patients may not be able to have an MRI.

    Please check the following list carefully and inform your medical provider if you have or have had any of the following:

    • Pacemaker
    • Aneurysm clips
    • Inner ear (cochlear) implants
    • Implanted spinal cord stimulator
    • Metallic implants
    • Metal fragments in one or both eyes
    • Tattoos that may have metallic ink

    What to expect on the day of your exam

    Please plan to be in the imaging center for approximately one hour for your MRI.

    You'll be asked to remove any metal from your pockets and/or your person. We will give you a locker to secure all of your belongings during the exam. You may be asked to change into scrubs or a gown, or you be instructed ahead of time to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing.

    The technologist will make you comfortable on the table, provide you with ear plugs or headphones to listen to music, and will then begin the exam.

    Most MRI exams last between 20 and 40 minutes. You should be free to leave the imaging center immediately after your exam.

    We will send a report of your MRI to your provider within 24 hours.

    How to prepare for your MRI

    Locate your test below, and follow the preparation instructions.

    Test: Abdomen

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours before exam; water is okay

    Test: Ankle Arthrogram

    Prep: None

    Test: Axilla

    Prep: None

    Test: Brachial Plexus

    Prep: None

    Test: Brain / Head

    Prep: None

    Test: Breast

    Prep: Exam must be schedule on day 6 or 7 of the patient's menstrual cycle

    Test: Breast Biopsy / LOC

    Prep: None

    Test: Cardiac MRI

    Prep: None

    Test: Carotid

    Prep: None

    Test: Cervical Spine

    Prep: None

    Test: Chest

    Prep: None

    Test: Cholangiogram

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to exam

    Test: Clavicle / Clavicular

    Prep: None

    Test: Defecogram

    Prep: Soft diet the day before (broths, jello, scrambled eggs, etc.). Nothing by mouth after midnight. Clear liquids and medications in the morning are okay. Use Fleets Enema Kit two hours prior to coming in for exam.

    Test: Dynamic Pelvic

    Prep: Soft diet the day before (broths, jello, scrambled eggs, etc.). Nothing by mouth after midnight. Clear liquids and medications in the morning are okay. Use Fleets Enema Kit two hours prior to coming in for exam.

    Test: Elbows

    Prep: None

    Test: Enterography

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam.

    Test: Extremity–Lower

    Prep: None

    Test: Extremity–Upper

    Prep: None

    Test: Fetal

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 6 hours prior to the exam.

    Test: Humerus

    Prep: None

    Test: Liver

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam.

    Test: Lumbar Spine

    Prep: None

    Test: MRCP

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam

    Test: Pancreas

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam

    Test: Pelvic

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam

    Test: Prostate

    Prep: Soft diet the day before (broths, jello, scrambled eggs, etc.); nothing by mouth after midnight. Clear liquids and medications in the morning are okay. Use Fleets Enema Kit two hours prior to coming in for exam.

    Test: Renal MRI

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam.

    Test: Small Bowel

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam

    Test: Spectroscopy / MRF

    Prep: None

    Test: TMJ

    Prep: None

    Test: Urography

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam.

    Test: VIBE

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam.

    Test: Whole Body MRI

    Prep: Nothing by mouth 4 hours prior to the exam.

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