Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a powerful imaging technology that can produce high resolution images of the body and enable radiologists to diagnose your child’s condition. We have highly trained pediatric MRI technologists and nurses that will ensure a smooth process for your child’s exam. At Lurie Children’s we are committed to a patient centered approach to provide the best experience for you and your family.
We have specialized MRI examinations for common and rare conditions for every organ system, including neuroimaging, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic imaging. We perform fetal MRI, whole body MRI, advanced tumor imaging, advanced liver stiffness imaging, heart and vascular imaging and more. Our interpretations are performed by board certified radiologists with subspecialty expertise in pediatric imaging. With the help of our 3D lab, we provide anatomically accurate and beautiful images to give your doctor the best information to prepare for the next steps in your child’s treatment.
MRI Try Without Anesthesia Program
Parents and Caregivers – if you are interested in your child completing their MRI without anesthesia but think that they would benefit from support from a certified child life specialist, they may be eligible to participate in our Try Without Anesthesia Program. This program supports patients who have not completed an MRI before, are switching from completing routine scans under anesthesia, or are nervous about the MRI machine or process.
This program starts with a phone screening with a child life specialist to determine if your child is eligible to participate. Following the phone screen, you will be provided with materials over email to prepare your child for their MRI experience. On the day of your child’s MRI, you will arrive early to allow your child to meet one-on-one with a child life specialist for extra teaching about the MRI and to make sure your child feels comfortable with the environment and the imaging plan. Your child will also have an extended time to complete their imaging to allow for time to get comfortable with the equipment and the imaging technician. If your child is unable to complete their imaging while awake, you will be rescheduled with anesthesia in the following weeks.
If you are interested in participating in this program, please communicate your interest to the imaging scheduling team, or reach out to the medical imaging/MRI child life specialists with your child’s name, birthday, and a phone number to be reached at.
Meet The Team
Our body, interventional, and neuroradiologists are board certified in the interpretation of MRI scans. We also have trained technologists scanning patients for their MRI scans and nurses that assist during their appointment.
What To Expect
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 their back and/or front depending on the type of MRI being done. Before the exam starts all patients will be given either earplugs or headphones to help with the loud noises that the MRI machine makes. Some patients will have an IV placed by our nurses for their MRI test.
If you are interested in your child completing their MRI without sedation but believe they may need additional support, please email or call our medical imaging child life team to receive an assessment. For infants, we offer special technique referred to as feed and swaddle. In some instances your child may need to be sedated, you can learn how to prepare for sedation here. Patients that are not sedated may bring a CD to listen to or movie to watch or may borrow one of ours to watch while having their MRI. A child life specialist may be available on the day of your child’s visit to provide support with their medical experience.
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 the below video to learn more about what happens during an MRI.