Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI produces very clear images of the human body using a big magnet and radio waves. It does not use X-rays. Learn more about MRI
Clothing must not have metal snaps, zippers metallic threads, or other metal. You will be asked to fill out an MRI screening form.
It is very important for young children to be still for their MRI, as even slight motion degrades the images. Some children may be given a medication, if ordered by the doctor, to sedate them during the test. An IV (small tube inserted into the vein) will be started to be used to inject contrast (material shows up well on MRI). An RN will stay with your child during the test and monitor him/her until discharge.
Ages 0-6 months - your child cannot have anything to eat or drink, including water 2 hours prior to the test. He/she may have clear liquids (water, apple juice, etc.) or breast milk 2-4 hours prior to the test.
Ages 6-24 months - your child cannot have anything to eat or drink, including water for 4 hours prior to the test. He/she may have clear liquids (water, apple juice, etc.) or breast milk 4-6 hours prior to the test. No solid food, milk or formula for 6 hours before the test.
Ages 2 years and up - your child may have nothing to eat or drink, including water for 6 hours before the test.
To help us in sedating your child for the test, it is helpful for your child to be sleepy before arriving at the hospital. We recommend putting your child to bed late in the evening before the test and waking them up early the morning of the test. It is also helpful if your child does not nap prior to the test.
Be prepared to stay at the hospital for about 4-6 hours for your child’s procedure. One to two hours are needed prior to the procedure for admitting information, starting an IV (small tube inserted into the vein) and giving sedation. The procedure may take approximately 20 minutes up to 2 hours depending on the type of test being performed. Recovery time may be approximately 2 hours after the procedure, depending on the procedure and the sedation medication that is used. Speech, posture, hand control, and walking may be markedly regressed for twenty four hours.