Medical Imaging: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - Before You Arrive

Prior to your appointment

Please make the following arrangements for your appointment.

Before the MRI test, tell your doctor and the MRI technologist if you:

  • Have a pacemaker, artificial limb, any metal pins or metal fragments in your body (especially in the eyes), metal heart valves, metal clips in your brain, metal implants in your ear, tattooed eyeliner, or any other implanted or prosthetic medical device, such as a drug infusion pump. Also, tell your doctor if you have worked around metal or if you have recently had surgery on a blood vessel. In some cases you may not be able to have the MRI test done.
  • Weigh more than 550 lbs. as the diameter of the MRI exam space is 70 cm.
  • Have an intrauterine device (IUD) in place. An IUD may prevent you from having the MRI test done.
  • Are or might be pregnant. In some cases, MRI may be done in late pregnancy to assess the fetus.
  • Have claustrophobia or become very nervous in confined spaces. You will need to lie very still on the exam bed in the centre of the MRI machine.  While it is uncommon, some people may require the use of a different MRI machine or medication to help them lie still in the exam space. For certain MRI studies, such as of the legs or wrist, your body will be out of the confined space.
  • Have allergies of any kind (hay fever, hives, food or medication allergies, or allergic forms of asthma). Unlike contrast dyes used in X-rays or CT scans, MRI contrast agents do not contain iodine.
  • You have any health conditions. Certain conditions such as serious kidney problems or sickle cell anemia may prevent you from having an MRI using contrast material.