COVID-19 INFORMATION Learn More

Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI/MRA

What Is A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI/MRA)?

An MRI is a diagnostic exam in which a strong magnet is used to make images or pictures of the inside of your body. An MRI is done to show abnormalities that may be causing discomfort or other symptoms. An MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) takes images of your blood vessels, an MRCP (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography) shows images of the liver, pancreas, biliary system, an enterography shows images of the small and large intestines.

Before Your Scan

Because of the way MRI works, metal in or on your body can affect the pictures. It is very important to tell your doctor and MRI technologist if you have a cardiac pacemaker, artificial heart valve, metal implant, insulin pump or other infusion pump, aneurysm clips, stents, IUD, inner ear implant or any electronic device. Let your doctor or MRI staff know if you are pregnant or nursing. You will be asked to change clothing and leave all other metallic objects (jewelry, keys, credit cards, watches, hairpins, hearing aids, coins, etc.) in a secure place outside the scanning room.

You may eat unless instructed otherwise. Exams involving the abdomen frequently require you to not eat or drink prior to the exam.

Take medications as usual. If you are taking pain medication, it may be helpful to take this before the exam as you will be asked to lie still for the exam. If you use mediation patches, bring a replacement.

During Your Scan

The table will slide into a large, tube shaped machine with openings on both ends. The body part being scanned will be in the center of the machine. The scanner is loud, earplugs or headphones will be available for your comfort. It is important that you lie still during the scan, movement will blur the pictures, producing a poor exam.

For some scans, a contrast agent is used to make certain parts of the body appear bright on the pictures. If this is needed, the contrast agent is injected into a vein.

After Your Visit

Your doctor will be contacted with the results of your test and will discuss them with you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

Back to Imaging Patient Instructions

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO