toggle mobile menu Menu
toggle search menu

Site Navigation

Supplemental

Menu

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Machine

Standard MRI machine

Courtesy of Intermountain Medical Imaging, Boise, Idaho.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures that are inside the body. During the MRI test (also called an MRI scan), you usually lie on your back on a table that is part of the MRI scanner. Your head, chest, and arms may be held with straps to help you stay still. The table will then slide into the round opening of the magnet.

Inside the scanner you will hear a fan and feel air moving. You may also hear tapping or snapping noises as the MRI scans are done. It is very important to stay completely still while the scan is being done.

People who get nervous in small places (are claustrophobic) may need medicine to help them relax while having an MRI scan.

Current as ofMarch 28, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Howard B. Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Healthwise is a URAC accredited health web site content provider. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.