Global Health Discounts, Inc.
Saving Americans Money
On Their Healthcare
(888) 380-6337

For more information email
MedicalDiscounts@aol.com

  • In business since 1998

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  • Thousands of satisfied customers.

  • A+ Rating Better Business Bureau

  • Chamber of Commerce member

  • Licensed Pomona, California

Important Note...To schedule an MRI or CT Scan, you must have a referral from a chiropractor, physician, dentist or podiatrist.

 

 

Low Cost Cheap MRIs - Low Cost Cheap MRI Scans
Total Cheap MRI Cash Price starting at $335
for people with no health insurance

Cash Discount MRI Scans
Quality MRI Imaging Centers


Philips Vista Polaris

Low Cost, Discount Cheap MRI's starting at $335

We are PayPal certified and have been in business for more than 12 years.  We are a third-party consumer advocacy program that helps people with no insurance or high deductibles obtain the lowest imaging center self-pay, cash prices.  We have contracts with 2,800 quality imaging center locations nationwide.  We get a volume-based wholesale discount rate whereas most individuals are required to pay higher retail rates. There are no other fees above the quoted price, and all quotes include our small referral fee and the radiologist reading. 

Prices are location specific.  In general, due to increased competition, we are able to get lower prices in higher population areas. Thus, our lowest  prices are available in New York, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, St. Louis, Phoenix, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Seattle, Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas, Orange County, Northern California, Little Rock, Atlanta, Columbia, St Paul, Perth Amboy, Nashville, Fort Worth, Fairfax and many more.  The highest prices are in Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Maine, Montana, North & South Dakota etc. 

National price range for a basic MRI no contrast is from $585 - $2,175
Using our service, the average nationwide MRI price is $400
Our lowest MRI no contrast price is $335.

There are no hidden or additional costs. 
Radiologist reading & our fee included in price.
Same Quality Images . Significantly Lower Prices
Copies of CD's available upon request.

When you have a doctor's (physician, dentist, chiropractor or podiatrist)
referral and are ready to schedule, call 888-380-6337.  

Do you need a cheap MRI or MRA?

**********************************************************

FREE MRI QUOTE!

E-Mail MedicalDiscounts@aol.com the following information or call toll free (888) 380-6337

               1. Location...city, state and zip code
(If you live in a rural area, what is the nearest big city?)

               2. Test....MRI, OR MRA Scan with or without contrast

3. Tell us if you would be willing to travel to pay a lower price.
 

Price range from lowest to highest listed by State
Price Range List Updated 10-4-2010

  • Prices vary from location to location and may change without notice.

  • Tell us if you are and how far you are willing to travel to get the lowest price.

  • All prices include the radiologist reading.


ALABAMA LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Alabama MRI no contrast price range $380 - $605
Alabama MRI with contrast price range $480 - $660
Alabama with & without contrast price range $480 - $780

ARIZONA LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Arizona MRI no contrast price range $380 - $605
Arizona MRI with contrast price range $480 - $695
Arizona MRI with & without contrast price range $480 - $905

ARKANSAS LOWEST COST MRI $545
----once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Arkansas MRI no contrast price range $545 - $995
Arkansas MRI with contrast price range $645 - $1,210
Arkansas MRI with & without contrast price range $645 - $1,420


CALIFORNIA LOWEST COST MRI $360
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

California MRI no contrast price range $350 - $570
California MRI with contrast price range $460 - $655
California MRI with & without contrast price range $460 - $805


COLORADO LOWEST COST MRI $630
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Colorado MRI no contrast price range $630 - $730
Colorado MRI with contrast price range $720 - $830
Colorado MRI with & without contrast price $880

CONNECTICUT LOWEST COST MRI $830
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Connecticut MRI no contrast price $830
Connecticut MRI with contrast price $930
Connecticut MRI with & without contrast price $1,030

DELAWARE LOWEST COST MRI $755
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Delaware MRI no contrast price $755
Delaware MRI with contrast price $830
Delaware MRI with & without contrast price $980

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA LOWEST COST MRI $555
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

District of Columbia MRI no contrast price $555
District of Columbia MRI with contrast price $630
District of Columbia MRI with & without contrast price $800

FLORIDA LOWEST COST MRI $360
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Florida MRI no contrast price range $360 - $520
Florida MRI with contrast price range $460 - $530
Florida MRI with & without contrast price range $460 - $880


GEORGIA LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Georgia MRI no contrast price range $380 - $580
Georgia MRI with contrast price range $480 - $655
Georgia MRI with & without contrast price range $480 - $865


ILLINOIS LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Illinois MRI no contrast price range $380 - $660
Illinois MRI with contrast price range $480 - $735
Illinois MRI with & without contrast price range $480 - $910

INDIANA LOWEST COST MRI $435
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Indiana MRI no contrast price range $435 - $955
Indiana MRI with contrast price range $560 - $955
Indiana MRI with & without contrast price range $560 - $1,315

IOWA LOWEST COST MRI $830
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Iowa MRI no contrast price $830
Iowa MRI with contrast price $930
Iowa MRI with & without contrast price $1,315

KANSAS LOWEST COST MRI $510
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Kansas MRI no contrast price range $510-$830
Kansas MRI with contrast price range $560-$930
Kansas MRI with & without contrast price range $635-$1,090

KENTUCKY LOWEST COST MRI $435
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Kentucky MRI no contrast price range $435 - $650
Kentucky MRI with contrast price range $470 - $745
Kentucky MRI with & without contrast price range $495 - $1,085

LOUISIANA LOWEST COST MRI $430
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Louisiana MRI no contrast price range $430 - $730
Louisiana MRI with contrast price range $530 - $830
Louisiana MRI with & without contrast price range $530 - $995

MARYLAND LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Maryland MRI no contrast price range $380 - $630
Maryland MRI with contrast price range $480 - $720
Maryland MRI with & without contrast price range $480 - $995

MASSACHUSETTS LOWEST COST MRI $580
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Massachusetts MRI no contrast price $580
Massachusetts MRI with contrast price $580
Massachusetts MRI with & without contrast price $780

MICHIGAN LOWEST COST MRI $560
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Michigan MRI no contrast price range $560-$755
Michigan MRI with contrast price range $610-$770
Michigan MRI with & without contrast price range $710 - $1,280

MINNESOTA LOWEST COST MRI $435
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Minnesota MRI no contrast price range $435 - $905
Minnesota MRI with contrast price range $470 - $1,030
Minnesota MRI with & without contrast price range $495 - $1,230

MISSISSIPPI LOWEST COST MRI $830
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Mississippi MRI no contrast price $830
Mississippi MRI with contrast price $930
Mississippi MRI with & without contrast price $1,280
 

MISSOURI LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Missouri MRI no contrast price $380-$735
Missouri MRI with contrast price $480-$810
Missouri MRI with & without contrast price $480-$910
 

MONTANA LOWEST COST MRI $955
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Montana MRI no contrast price $955
Montana MRI with contrast price $1,100
Montana MRI with & without contrast price $1,575
 

NEBRASKA LOWEST COST MRI $435
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Nebraska MRI no contrast price range $435 - $930
Nebraska MRI with contrast price range $470 - $1,080
Nebraska MRI with & without contrast price range $495 - $1,280

NEVADA LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Nevada MRI no contrast price range $380 - $780
Nevada MRI with contrast price range $480 - $930
Nevada MRI with & without contrast price range $480 - $930
 

NEW JERSEY LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

New Jersey MRI no contrast price range $380 - $565
New Jersey MRI with contrast price range $480 - $720
New Jersey MRI with & without contrast price range $480 - $905

NEW MEXICO LOWEST COST MRI $830
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

New Mexico MRI no contrast price $830
New Mexico MRI with contrast price $980
New Mexico MRI with & without contrast price $980


NEW YORK LOWEST COST MRI $360
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

New York MRI no contrast price range $360 - $580
New York MRI with contrast price range $450 - $675
New York MRI with & without contrast price range $450 - $730
 

NORTH CAROLINA LOWEST COST MRI $830
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

North Carolina MRI no contrast price $830
North Carolina MRI with contrast price $930
North Carolina MRI with & without contrast price $1,055

OHIO LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Ohio MRI no contrast price range $380 - $680
Ohio MRI with contrast price range $480 - $680
Ohio MRI with & without contrast price range $480 - $995

OKLAHOMA LOWEST COST MRI $510
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Oklahoma MRI no contrast price range $510 - $855
Oklahoma MRI with contrast price range $560 - $955
Oklahoma MRI with & without contrast range $560 - $1,055
 

OREGON LOWEST COST MRI $485
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Oregon MRI no contrast price $485-$970
Oregon MRI with contrast price $585-$1,080
Oregon MRI with & without contrast price $585-$1,380
 

PENNSYLVANIA LOWEST COST MRI $460
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Pennsylvania MRI no contrast price range $460 - $550
Pennsylvania MRI with contrast price range $510 - $650
Pennsylvania MRI with & without contrast price range $510 - $1,030
 

RHODE ISLAND LOWEST COST MRI $680
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Rhode Island MRI no contrast price $680
Rhode Island MRI with contrast price $830
Rhode Island MRI with & without contrast price $830

SOUTH CAROLINA LOWEST PRICE MRI $510
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

South Carolina MRI no contrast price $510-$730
South Carolina MRI with contrast price $580
South Carolina MRI with & without contrast price $580
 

TENNESSEE LOWEST COST MRI $435
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Tennessee MRI no contrast price range $435 - $655
Tennessee MRI with contrast price range $470 - $730
Tennessee MRI with & without contrast price range $495 - $805
 

TEXAS LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Texas MRI no contrast price range $380 - $610
Texas MRI with contrast price range $480 - $705
Texas MRI with & without contrast price range $480 - $780

UTAH LOWEST COST MRI $730
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Utah MRI's starting at $730 . Utah CT Scans starting $445

Utah MRI no contrast price $730
Utah MRI with contrast price $880
Utah MRI with & without contrast price $880
 

VERMONT LOWEST COST MRI $830
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Vermont MRI no contrast price $830
Vermont MRI with contrast price $1,005
Vermont MRI with & without contrast price $1,480

VIRGINIA LOWEST COST MRI $560
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Virginia MRI no contrast price range $560 - $780
Virginia MRI with contrast price range $635 - $780
Virginia MRI with & without contrast price range $635 - $980

WASHINGTON LOWEST COST MRI $380
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Washington MRI no contrast price range $380 - $755
Washington MRI with contrast price range $480 - $820
Washington MRI with & without contrast price range $480 - $1,395
 

WEST VIRGINIA LOWEST COST MRI $670
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

West Virginia MRI no contrast price $670
West Virginia MRI with contrast price $805
West Virginia MRI with & without contrast price $960
 

WISCONSIN LOWEST COST MRI $435
--once you have a doctor's referral . call toll free 888-380-6337 to schedule--

Wisconsin MRI no contrast price range $435 - $820
Wisconsin MRI with contrast price range $470 - $920
Wisconsin MRI with & without contrast price range $555 - $1,010
 

Multiple MRI Locations Nationwide

  • State-of-the-art MRI Scan Equipment
  • Board Certified MRI Scan Radiologists
  • No Hidden MRI Fees
  • MRI Readings Included In Price
  • Same Day MRI Scan Appointments
  • Out of Area MRI Patients Welcome
  • Pediatric, Elderly, Overweight MRI Patient Specialists
  • No Tunnel
  • No Loud Noises
  • Top Quality MRI can Images

Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Total MRI price
start at $360

MRI Scans require M.D. or D.C. referral - To schedule a procedure, fax a physician or chiropractic referral (prescription) to (866) 380-6337.  Include patient's contact phone number on the referral form.  With nationwide MRI cash pay prices ranging from $500 to $5,000, people from every state in the U.S. and Canada have come to our centers to get affordable state-of-the-art MRI Scans (note: if interested, please call our office to get the make and model of the imaging equipment).  For more information call (888) 380-6337.

All prices include the radiologist reading. There are NO other costs. No specific addresses nor phone numbers are given because you need to schedule through us to get the lower, discounted cash price.  To schedule, you MUST HAVE A DOCTOR REFERRAL!! Once you have your doctor referral, call us toll free 888-550-8895.

If your area is not listed below,
call for a free, no obligation quote

 CHEAP ARIZONA MRI

Phoenix, Arizona MRI starting at $380 without contrast
Phoenix, Arizona MRI starting at $480 with and/or with and without contrast
Phoenix, Arizona Analog Mammogram $125, Ultrasound $150, PET Scan $1600
Multiple lowest cost imaging center locations available in Phoenix and within an hour drive of Phoenix.

CHEAP CALIFORNIA MRI

    Cheap Los Angeles County, California MRI

Los Angeles County, California MRI starting at $380 without contrast
Los Angeles County, California, MRI starting at $480 with and/or without contrast
Los Angeles County, California Arthrogram starting at $640
Los Angeles County, California Bilateral Breast MRI with and without contrast $710
Multiple lowest cost imaging center locations available in Los Angeles County, California.

Cheap Orange County, California MRI

Orange County, California MRI starting at $380 without contrast
Orange County, California, MRI starting at $480 with and/or without contrast
Orange County, California Bilateral Breast MRI with and without contrast $510
Multiple lowest cost imaging center locations available in Orange County, California.

Cheap San Diego area, California MRI

San Diego area, California MRI starting at $380 without contrast
San Diego area, California, MRI starting at $480 with and/or without contrast
Multiple lowest cost imaging center locations available in San Diego area, California.

Cheap San Francisco area, California MRI

San Francisco area, California MRI starting at $380 without contrast
San Francisco area, California, MRI starting at $480 with and/or without contrast
Multiple lowest cost imaging center locations available in San Francisco area, California.

Cheap Northern California MRI

Northern California area, MRI starting at $380 without contrast
Northern California area, MRI starting at $480 with and/or without contrast
Multiple lowest cost imaging center locations available in Northern California area.

Cheap Riverside County, California MRI

Riverside County, California MRI starting at $360 without contrast
Riverside County, California, MRI starting at $460 with and/or without contrast
No CT Scans Riverside County.  Only one location available.

Cheap San Bernardino County, California MRI

San Bernardino, County, California MRI starting at $380 without contrast
San Bernardino, California, MRI starting at $480 with and/or without contrast
No CT Scans San Bernardino County.  Only one location available.

CHEAP FLORIDA MRI

Florida MRI starting at $360 without contrast
Florida MRI starting at $460 with and/or with and without contrast
Multiple lowest cost imaging center locations available throughout Florida. Florida MRI only locations Altamonte Springs, Crestview, Homosassa, Kissimmee, Navarre, New Smyrna, Orlando, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sarasota.  MRI & CT Scan locations Bradenton, Miami, Sarasota, Tampa, Winter Park.

CHEAP GEORGIA MRI

Georgia MRI starting at $460 without contrast
Georgia MRI starting at $510 with and/or with and without contrast
No CT Scans.  Only one location available, near Atlanta.

CHEAP ILLINOIS MRI

Chicago area, Illinois MRI starting at $460 without contrast
Chicago area, Illinois MRI starting at $560 with and/or with and without contrast
Multiple lowest cost imaging center locations available in and around the Chicago, Illinois area.

CHEAP INDIANA MRI

Indiana MRI $460 without contrast
Indiana MRI $560 with and/or with and without contrast
No CT Scans.  Locations include Elkhart, Goshen, Marion and Munster.

CHEAP KENTUCKY MRI

Kentucky MRI $460 without contrast
Kentucky MRI $510 with and/or with and without contrast
No CT Scans.  Locations include Lexington, London, Pikeville.

CHEAP MINNESOTA MRI

Minnesota MRI starting at $430 without contrast
No MRI's with contrast. No CT Scans.  Location St. Paul.

CHEAP MISSOURI MRI

Kentucky MRI $460 without contrast
Kentucky MRI $510 with and/or with and without contrast
No CT Scans.  Locations include Lexington, London, Pikeville.

CHEAP NEVADA MRI

Las Vegas, Nevada MRI $460 without contrast
Las Vegas, Nevada MRI with contrast $510
Las Vegas, Nevada MRI with and without contrast $560

CHEAP NEW JERSEY MRI

New Jersey MRI $380 without contrast
New Jersey MRI $480 with and/or with and without contrast
 

CHEAP NEW YORK MRI

New York City, NY MRI $360 without contrast
New York City, NY MRI $450 with and/or with and without contrast
.

CHEAP OHIO MRI

Ohio MRI $560 without contrast
Ohio MRI $635 with and/or with and without contrast
 

CHEAP PENNSYLVANIA MRI

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania MRI $460 without contrast
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania MRI $510 with and/or with and without contrast
 

CHEAP TENNESSEE MRI

Tennessee MRI $485 without contrast
Tennessee MRI $560 with contrast
Tennessee MRI with and without contrast $660
 

CHEAP TEXAS MRI

Texas MRI $380 without contrast
Texas MRI $480 with and/or with and without contrast

.CHEAP VIRGINIA MRI

Virginia MRI $560 without contrast
Virginia MRI $635 with and/or with and without contrast


MRI Information from RadiologyInfo.org listed below...

What is MRI of the Body?

MRI of the knee - side (lateral) view, showing distal or lowest part of femur, the patella (knee cap) and proximal (upper) tibia. The lateral meniscus is seen as a dark bow-tie like structure. The patellar tendon is also clearly seen at the front of the knee connecting the patella with the tibia.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, printed or copied to CD. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays). Detailed MR images allow physicians to better evaluate various parts of the body and certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods such as x-ray, ultrasound or computed tomography (also called CT or CAT scanning).

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Sample image: MRI of the abdomen showing liver and kidneys - frontal (coronal view)

MR imaging of the body is performed to evaluate:

  • organs of the chest and abdomen—including the heart, liver, biliary tract, kidney, spleen and pancreas and adrenal glands.
  • pelvic organs including the reproductive organs in the male (prostate and testicles) and the female (uterus, cervix and ovaries).
  • blood vessels (MR Angiography).
  • breasts.

Physicians use the MR examination to help diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as:

  • tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis.
  • certain types of heart problems.
  • blockages or enlargements of blood vessels, including the aorta, renal arteries, and arteries in the legs.
  • diseases of the liver, such as cirrhosis, and that of other abdominal organs, including the bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreatic ducts.
  • cysts and solid tumors in the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract.
  • tumors and other abnormalities of the reproductive organs (e.g., uterus, ovaries, testicles, prostate).
  • causes of pelvic pain in women, such as fibroids, endometriosis and adenomyosis.
  • suspected uterine congenital abnormalitynomalies in women undergoing evaluation for infertility.
  • breast cancer and implants.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or you may be allowed to wear your own clothing if it is loose-fitting and has no metal fasteners.

Guidelines about eating and drinking before an MRI exam vary with the specific exam and also with the facility. For some types of exams, you will be asked to fast for 8-12 hours. Unless you are told otherwise, you may follow your regular daily routine and take medications as usual.

Some MRI examinations may require the patient to swallow contrast material or receive an injection of contrast into the bloodstream. The radiologist or technologist may ask if you have allergies of any kind, such as allergy to iodine or x-ray contrast material, drugs, food, the environment, or asthma. However, the contrast material used for an MRI exam, called gadolinium, does not contain iodine and is less likely to cause side effects or an allergic reaction.

The radiologist should also know if you have any serious health problems or if you have recently had surgery. Some conditions, such as severe kidney disease may prevent you from being given contrast material for an MRI.

Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. MRI has been used for scanning patients since the 1980's with no reports of any ill effects on pregnant women or their babies. However, because the baby will be in a strong magnetic field, pregnant women should not have this exam unless the potential benefit from the MRI is assumed to outweigh the potential risks.

If you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces) or anxiety, you may want to ask your physician for a prescription for a mild sedative.

Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home if possible, or removed prior to the MRI scan. Because they can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit, metal and electronic objects are not allowed in the exam room. These items include:

  • jewelry, watches, credit cards and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged.
  • pins, hairpins, metal zippers and similar metallic items, which can distort MRI images.
  • removable dental work.
  • pens, pocketknives and eyeglasses.
  • body piercings.

In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. People with the following implants cannot be scanned and should not enter the MRI scanning area unless explicitly instructed to do so by a radiologist or technologist who is aware of the presence of any of the following:

  • internal (implanted) defibrillator or pacemaker
  • cochlear (ear) implant
  • some types of clips used on brain aneurysms

You should tell the technologist if you have medical or electronic devices in your body, because they may interfere with the exam or potentially pose a risk, depending on their nature and the strength of the MRI magnet. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • artificial heart valves
  • implanted drug infusion ports
  • implanted electronic device, including a cardiac pacemaker
  • artificial limbs or metallic joint prostheses
  • implanted nerve stimulators
  • metal pins, screws, plates, stents or surgical staples

In general, metal objects used in orthopedic surgery pose no risk during MRI. However, a recently placed artificial joint may require the use of another imaging procedure. If there is any question of their presence, an x-ray may be taken to detect the presence of and identify any metal objects. Patients who might have metal objects in certain parts of their bodies may also require an x-ray prior to an MRI. Dyes used in tattoos may contain iron and could heat up during MRI, but this is rarely a problem. Tooth fillings and braces usually are not affected by the magnetic field but they may distort images of the facial area or brain, so the radiologist should be aware of them.

What does the equipment look like?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment

The traditional MRI unit is a large cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet. You will lie on a moveable examination table that slides into the center of the magnet.

Some MRI units, called short-bore systems, are designed so that the magnet does not completely surround you; others are open on the sides ("low-strength" open MRI). These units are especially helpful for examining patients who are fearful of being in a closed space and for those who are very obese. Newer open MRI units provide very high quality images for many types of exams; however, open MRI units with older magnets may not provide this same quality. Certain types of exams cannot be performed using open MRI. For more information, consult your doctor. The computer workstation that processes the imaging information is located in a separate room than the scanner.

How does the procedure work?

Unlike conventional x-ray examinations and computed tomography (CT) scans, MRI does not depend on ionizing radiation. Instead, while in the magnet, radio waves redirect the axes of spinning protons, which are the nuclei of hydrogen atoms, in a strong magnetic field.  The magnetic field is produced by passing an electric current through wire coils in most MRI units. Other coils, located in the machine and in some cases, placed around the part of the body being imaged, send and receive radio waves, producing signals that are detected by the coils.  A computer then processes the signals and generates a series of images each of which shows a thin slice of the body. The images can then be studied from different angles by the interpreting physician.  Overall, the differentiation of abnormal (diseased) tissue from normal tissues is often better with MRI than with other imaging modalities such as x-ray, CT and ultrasound.

How is the procedure performed?

MRI examinations may be performed on outpatients or inpatients. You will be positioned on the moveable examination table. Straps and bolsters may be used to help you stay still and maintain the correct position during imaging.

Small devices that contain coils capable of sending and receiving radio waves may be placed around or adjacent to the area of the body being studied.

If a contrast material will be used in the MRI exam, a nurse or technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm. A saline solution may be used. The solution will drip through the IV to prevent blockage of the IV line until the contrast material is injected.

You will be moved into the magnet of the MRI unit and the radiologist and technologist will leave the room while the MRI examination is performed.

If a contrast material is used during the examination, it will be injected into the intravenous line (IV) after an initial series of scans. Additional series of images will be taken during or following the injection.

When the examination is completed, you may be asked to wait until the technologist or radiologist checks the images in case additional images are needed.

Your intravenous line will be removed.

MRI exams generally include multiple runs (sequences), some of which may last several minutes.

Depending on the type of exam and the equipment used, the entire exam is usually completed in 15 to 45 minutes.

MR spectroscopy, which provides additional information on the chemicals present in the body's cells, may also be performed during the MRI exam and may add approximately 15 minutes to the exam time.

What will I experience during and after the procedure?

Most MRI exams are painless.

Some patients, however, find it uncomfortable to remain still during MR imaging. Others experience a sense of being closed-in (claustrophobia). Therefore, sedation can be arranged for those patients who anticipate anxiety, but fewer than one in 20 require it.

It is normal for the area of your body being imaged to feel slightly warm, but if it bothers you, notify the radiologist or technologist. It is important that you remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded, which is typically only a few seconds to a few minutes at a time. For some types of exams, you may be asked to hold your breath. You will know when images are being recorded because you will hear tapping or thumping sounds when the coils that generate the radiofrequency pulses are activated. You will be able to relax between imaging sequences, but will be asked to maintain your position as much as possible.

You will usually be alone in the exam room during the MRI procedure. However, the technologist will be able to see, hear and speak with you at all times using a two-way intercom. Many MRI centers allow a friend or parent to stay in the room as long as they are also screened for safety in the magnetic environment.

You may be offered or you may request earplugs to reduce the noise of the MRI scanner, which produces loud thumping and humming noises during imaging. MRI scanners are air-conditioned and well-lit. Some scanners have music to help you pass the time.

When the contrast material is injected, it is normal to feel coolness and a flushing sensation for a minute or two. The intravenous needle may cause you some discomfort when it is inserted and once it is removed, you may experience some bruising. There is also a very small chance of irritation of your skin at the site of the IV tube insertion.

If you have not been sedated, no recovery period is necessary. You may resume your usual activities and normal diet immediately after the exam. A few patients experience side effects from the contrast material, including nausea and local pain. Very rarely, patients are allergic to the contrast material and experience hives, itchy eyes or other reactions. If you experience allergic symptoms, a radiologist or other physician will be available for immediate assistance.

Manufacturers of intravenous contrast indicate mothers should not breast feed their babies for 24–48 hours after contrast medium is given. However, both the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the European Society of Urogenital Radiology note that the available data suggest that it is safe to continue breast-feeding after receiving intravenous contrast. The Manual on Contrast Media from the ACR states:

"Review of the literature shows no evidence to suggest that oral ingestion by an infant of the tiny amount of gadolinium contrast medium excreted into breast milk would cause toxic effects. We believe, therefore, that the available data suggest that it is safe for the mother and infant to continue breast-feeding after receiving such an agent.

If the mother remains concerned about any potential ill effects, she should be given the opportunity to make an informed decision as to whether to continue or temporarily abstain from breast-feeding after receiving a gadolinium contrast medium. If the mother so desires, she may abstain from breast-feeding for 24 hours with active expression and discarding of breast milk from both breasts during that period. In anticipation of this, she may wish to use a breast pump to obtain milk before the contrast study to feed the infant during the 24-hour period following the examination."

For further information please consult the ACR Manual on Contrast Media, Version 6, 2008, and its references. You may find it on the ACR Website (http://www.acr.org/contrast-manual).

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to supervise and interpret radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will share the results with you.

What are the benefits vs. risks?

Benefits

  • MRI is a noninvasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • MR images of the soft-tissue structures of the body—such as the heart, liver and many other organs— is more likely in some instances to identify and characterize abnormalities and focal lesions than other imaging methods. This detail makes MRI an invaluable tool in early diagnosis and evaluation of many focal lesions and tumors.
  • MRI has proven valuable in diagnosing a broad range of conditions, including cancer, heart and vascular disease, and muscular and bone abnormalities.
  • MRI enables the discovery of abnormalities that might be obscured by bone with other imaging methods.
  • MRI allows physicians to assess the biliary system noninvasively and without contrast injection.
  • The contrast material used in MRI exams is less likely to produce an allergic reaction than the iodine-based materials used for conventional x-rays and CT scanning.
  • MRI provides a fast, non-invasive alternative to x-ray angiography for diagnosing problems of the heart and blood vessels.

Risks

  • The MRI examination poses almost no risk to the average patient when appropriate safety guidelines are followed.
  • If sedation is used there are risks of excessive sedation. The technologist or nurse monitors your vital signs to minimize this risk.
  • Although the strong magnetic field is not harmful in itself, implanted medical devices that contain metal may malfunction or cause problems during an MRI exam.
  • There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected. Such reactions usually are mild and easily controlled by medication. If you experience allergic symptoms, a radiologist or other physician will be available for immediate assistance.
  • Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is currently a recognized, but rare, complication of MRI believed to be caused by the injection of high doses of MRI contrast material in patients with very poor kidney function.

What are the limitations of MRI of the Body?

High-quality images are assured only if you are able to remain perfectly still or hold your breath, if requested to do so, while the images are being recorded. If you are anxious, confused or in severe pain, you may find it difficult to lie still during imaging. A person who is very large may not fit into the opening of a conventional MRI machine.

The presence of an implant or other metallic object sometimes makes it difficult to obtain clear images and patient movement can have the same effect.

Breathing may cause artifacts, or image distortions, during MRIs of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Bowel motion is another source of motion artifacts in abdomen and pelvic MRI studies. This is less of a problem with state-of-the art scanners and techniques.

Although there is no reason to believe that magnetic resonance imaging harms the fetus, pregnant women usually are advised not to have an MRI exam unless medically necessary.

MRI may not always distinguish between cancer tissue and edema fluid.

MRI typically costs more and may take more time to perform than other imaging modalities.

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2004 Global Health Discounts, Inc.
Last modified: 10/08/12

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Global Health Discounts, Inc is not a health care provider, pharmacy or an insurance company.  We have no clinical personnel.  For legal and/or clinical information, please consult your attorney and/or your personal physician. A valid prescription/physician referral is required for any procedures or medications ordered. Prices may change without notice. A valid prescription is required for the purchase of any MRI, CT Scan or medication from Global Health Discounts ,Inc, and Global Health Discounts, Inc is not responsible for any discrepancies or errors contained in the above information.   Prices may change without notice.