Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Abdomen

What is an MRI of the Abdomen?

An MRI of the abdomen is the diagnostic imaging of internal structures by using radio waves and magnetism to produce high resolution, three-dimensional images of the liver, biliary tract, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands and other surrounding tissues.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

An MRI of the abdomen is most commonly used to assess lesions, benign hepatic disease, liver infiltrations, biliary duct obstruction or to evaluate for staging of neoplasms.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

Take nothing by mouth for 4 hours prior to the procedure.

Please inform your physician or technologist if you are claustrophobic, or if you have a pacemaker, aneurysm clips or any metallic implants.  You should also inform your physician or technologist if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant.

What will I experience during the procedure?

Once you arrive in the MRI department, you will be asked to change into a gown and to remove any jewelry or metallic objects.  A technologist or nurse will start an IV, so that contrast may be administered during the scan.  You will be asked to lie on your stomach, which may become uncomfortable, on a sliding MRI table, which allows the technologist to move you into the MRI machine. You will be asked to hold very still for the duration of the exam, which usually takes 45 minutes.  You may experience a cool sensation as the contrast is injected into your veins, and your body may feel an overall warmth as the scan is performed.  The MRI machine will make a series of loud, repetitive knocking sounds.  The technologist will offer you foam earplugs or a stereo headset to mask the noise.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

A radiologist will interpret the exam, and a signed report will be sent to your physician who will discuss the results with you.