What should I expect during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)?

During the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination, which takes an average of 30 minutes, a "knocking" sound can be heard. This is a normal effect of the gradient coils responding to the different fields. Despite this noise, most patients can easily tolerate the procedure. A technologist is always in close observation and intercom communication with the patient throughout the procedure.

For a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, you must lie motionless inside a large tube located in the center of a room-sized machine. The process is noisy, so you must wear ear protection. Some people feel claustrophobic inside the device, but many testing facilities provide earphones so you can listen to music to ease some of the anxiety. MRI machines of a more open design are available in some facilities. The procedure takes 20 to 45 minutes. If intravenous dye is needed to enhance the image, it's usually given halfway through the procedure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.