Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is an imaging technology that uses a large magnet radio frequencies and a computer to produce two- or three-dimensional images of the body. Our hospital is specially designed, equipped and staffed by registered technologists to obtain high quality MRI examinations of children of any size, age and medical condition, including tiny newborns, small infants, toddlers, young children and maturing adolescents. We also offer fetal MRIs.
What is an MRI used for?
MRI is used to visualize normal and abnormal tissue in a wide range of anatomic structures, including the brain, spine, abdomen, pelvis and extremities. The technology can also be used to look at vessels within the body.
How long does it take?
MRI exams can take about 45 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on the test being performed.
What should we expect?
Your child may need to be sedated. Learn more about sedation and how to prepare for your child's medical imaging procedure. Also, be sure to tell your child's doctor if your child has a pacemaker, implant rods or aneurysm clips.
What happens during the MRI?
Before your child enters the MRI scan room they will be asked to put on a hospital gown or scrubs. Your child will lie on a bed on his back and/or front depending on the type of MRI being done. Before the exam starts all patients will be given either ear plugs or head phones to help with the loud noises that the MRI machine makes. Patients that are not sedated may bring a CD to listen to while having their MRI. Your child will be asked to lie completely still will we take the MRI pictures. Some patients will get an IV for their MRI test. The IV will be placed by our nurses before the MRI begins. The machine will then surround the body part to be examined. The machine makes a "knocking" sound as it goes around to create the picture. It may be necessary to give your child contrast material (a liquid that shows up on the MRI) intravenously during the exam.
What happens after the MRI?
Once the exam is complete, your child may eat and drink as usual, unless you are told otherwise. A radiologist will interpret the final images and a report will be sent to your child's doctor.
Watch a video of the MRI machines being lifted into the new facility at Lurie Children's.
Call our MR schedulers at 312.227.4277 with any questions or concerns.