Before the test, tell the radiologist if you are on dialysis. This may affect whether you can have IV contrast.
If you fear confined spaces (have claustrophobia), tell your doctor before the exam. You may be given a medicine to help you feel sleepy and less anxious. Your doctor may also recommend an "open" MRI, in which the machine is not as close to the body.
The strong magnetic fields created during an MRI can interfere with pacemakers and other implants. Persons with cardiac pacemakers cannot have an MRI and should not enter an MRI area.
You may not be able to have an MRI if you have any of the following metallic objects in your body:
- Brain aneurysm clips
- Certain types of artificial heart valves
- Heart defibrillator or pacemaker
- Inner ear (cochlear) implants
- Recently placed artificial joints
- Certain types of vascular stents
- Pain pumps
Tell your health care provider if you have one of these devices when scheduling the test, so the exact type of metal can be determined.
Before an MRI, sheet metal workers or people that may have been exposed to small metal fragments should receive a skull x-ray. This is to check for metal in the eyes.
Because the MRI contains a magnet, metal-containing objects such as pens, pocketknives, and eyeglasses may fly across the room. This can be dangerous, so they are not allowed into the scanner area.
Other metallic objects are also not allowed into the room:
- Items such as jewelry, watches, credit cards, and hearing aids can be damaged.
- Pins, hairpins, metal zippers, and similar metallic items can distort the images.
- Removable dental work should be taken out just before the scan.