Reasons you may not be able to have an MRI of the spine or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Pregnancy. An MRI test usually is not done during pregnancy.
- Medical devices that use electronics, such as a pacemaker or medicine infusion pump. The MRI magnet may cause problems with these devices, and that may keep you from having an MRI.
- Medical devices that have metal in them. The metal might make some of the detailed MRI pictures blurry. This may prevent your doctor from seeing the organ that is being looked at. For example, any metal in your spine may prevent your doctor from seeing it clearly.
- Inability to remain still during the test.
- Obesity. A person who is very overweight may not fit into standard MRI machines.
Many modern medical devices that do not use electronics - such as heart valves, stents or clips - can be safely placed in most MRI machines. But some newer MRI machines have stronger magnets. The safety of MRI scans with these stronger MRI magnets in people with medical devices is not known.
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