MRI Information for Patients

MRI Scan Instructions

Please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled time.


Before the MRI scan:

  • If you have a cough: Consider taking a cough suppressant. You may be reminded not to cough or move during the scan.
  • Ask for a sedative: If you are claustrophobic, or are uncomfortable in closed in places, tell your physician so that arrangements can be made to make you more comfortable,
  • Bring a favorite CD. It helps to relax while you are in the scanner. Electronic devices such as MP3 players etc. are prohibited in the MR environment.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment time. There are many questions we need to ask prior to the MRI scan.
  • You will be asked questions. To help determine whether or not it is safe for you to undergo the MRI study. You will also need to recount your medical history to ensure a quality study. Tell the technologist if you have any metal within your body, and if you have kidney disease.


What to wear:

  • No jewelry: Leave all of your jewelry at home.
  • No metal: You may be able to wear you own clothes (instead of a hospital gown) during the scan, as long as there are no metal buttons, snaps or zippers. Keep this in mind when dressing-- wear a t-shirt and elastic waist pants or shorts.
  • Dress lightly or in layers. It can get warm in the MRI scanner. This will allow you to undress easily to a comfortable level.


During the scan:

  • You will lie in a MRI scanner which is a tube that has an opening at each end. The test will require that you to be completely inside the scanner, but you will be able to immediately communicate any problems to the technologist. You will be asked to hold still, as motion can decrease the quality of the images. At times we will also prompt you to hold your breath. During the scan, you will hear knocking sounds as the machine takes the pictures.
  • The length of the MRI scan varies depending on what kind of information your doctor has requested, but typically ranges from 30-90 minutes.
  • Most cardiovascular MRI studies will require the placement of an intravenous line to administer the MRI contrast agent (gadolinium), which makes the blood vessels brighter. The MRI contrast is different from other vascular contrast and does not contain iodine. It does not affect kidney function, but if you have kidney disease a quick blood test will be done.
  • Your doctor will then communicate the results of the study directly to you.


MRI Cardiac Perfusion Instructions

Please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled time.


Before the test:

  • Do not eat anything after midnight before your scheduled appointment. You may drink as much water as desired.
  • Do not eat or drink anything with caffeine for 24 hours before your test (such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, chocolate, cola, Mountain Dew, and medications that contain caffeine).
  • If you are diabetic, please ask your physician about holding or reducing your diabetic medications before the test.
  • Bring your medications with you to the appointment.
  • Do not take Aggrenox 48 hours prior to your test.
  • Do not take beta blocker medication the morning of the test (such as Metoprolol, Lopressor, Toprol, Atenolol, Tenormin, Coreg, Corgard, Labetalol, Propranolol, Tenoretic, Ziac) unless directed to do so by your physician.
  • Please hold the following cardiac medications the morning of the test: Cardizem, Verapamil, Norvasc, Imdur, Isosorbide, Nitroglycerin patches, or Clonidine.
  • If you are claustrophobic, please inform your physician.
  • You will be asked to change into a gown. 
  • No metal is allowed in the scan room.


What to expect:

  • You will be in the department between 30 mins and 2 hours, depending on the type of study. 
  • The schedulers will help determine time allowed.
  • An IV may be placed in the arm for contrast. MRI Contrast does not contain Iodine.
  • Electrodes will be placed for monitoring during test.
  • To obtain pictures, you will be asked to lie on your back.
  • In most cases will be asked to hold your breath during a series of images.
  • You will be given a headset to listen to music and communicate with the technologist during test.


If you have any questions, please call us at (918) 592-0999.