Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI or MR) is among the safest and most comfortable medical imaging procedures available.

With the ability to tailor the exam to a particular medical question and the unparalleled view it provides inside the body, MRI is the imaging option of choice for the diagnosis of many types of injuries and conditions.

MRI can image virtually any part of the body, including the brain, spine, internal organs, muscle groups, tendons and ligaments, bones, central nervous system, and flowing blood in virtually any part of the body to distinguish possible areas of concern.

MRI is Ideal for:

  • Diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Diagnosing tumors of the brain
  • Diagnosing strokes in their earliest stages
  • Diagnosing infections in the brain, spine, abdomen or joints
  • Diagnosing tendonitis
  • Visualizing torn ligaments in the wrist, knee and ankle, shoulder, and Elbow
  • Evaluating masses in the soft tissues of the body, abdomen, or pelvis
  • Evaluating bone tumors, cysts and bulging or herniated discs in the spine
  • Evaluating the arteries and veins throughout the body

How does MRI work?

Utilizing a powerful magnet in conjunction with radio waves to cause tissues in the body to take on specific appearances, MRI allows the radiologist to isolate specific areas or systems for analysis and comparison to healthy tissue. MRI essentially takes slices like slicing a loaf of bread, in any direction, (top-bottom/ side-to side, or front to back).

How Our MRI Technology is different

The Imaging Center of Idaho offers the newest ultra short-bore, open design high field MRI. The Toshiba Vantage Atlas offers patented Pianissimo Technology which reduces acoustic noise by as much as 60 - 90% over other closed bore scanners. Noise associated with MRI is one of the most significant causes of patient discomfort.

What can I expect?

At the Imaging Center of Idaho, all of our exams are tailored to the specific needs of the patient, their condition, and their referring physician. A tailored MRI exam consists of several different imaging sequences, each one having unique characteristics, and multiple pictures that allow the radiologist to distinguish normal tissues from injured/abnormal/diseased tissue.

What Do I Have to Do?

During the MRI, patients are required to remain completely still during each imaging sequence, which may last 2 to 6 minutes or a total exam time of 30 to 60 minutes. This is a non-invasive procedure so patients can relax and often nap during these tests.

Patient Comfort

The Imaging Center of Idaho is designed with patient comfort in mind. Our MR suite is large and spacious with large southwest facing windows for comforting natural lighting, where patients may relax and listen to their favorite CD or Sirius Satellite radio station while undergoing their exams. Our accredited, highly trained technologists will make every effort to make even the most anxious patient comfortable.

MRI is not for everyone

Patients who have the following may not be able to have a MRI test:

  • Pacemakers/defibrillators or pacing wires
  • Metal fragments in one or both eyes
  • Inner ear implant
  • Spinal stimulators or Brain stimulators
  • Brain Aneurysm Clips (the newer aneurysm clips may be MRI compatible. Your surgeon should be able to provide any documentation regarding the composition of the clip)

MRI Pre-procedure Checklist

There is no special preparation for most MRI's exam. We encourage our patients to wear comfortable clothing such as a sweat-suit without metal snaps for zippers. The Imaging Center of Idaho offers hospital scrubs tops and bottoms to wear if needed.

For our patient's safety, we ask patients to remove all hairpins, body piercings, watches, and most jewelry before entering the MRI scan room. It is best to leave your valuables at home. If you are going to have an MRI of the abdomen or pelvis do not eat or drink 3 hours prior to your exam.