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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 inside the body. When your child has an MRI, he or she will lie on a table. Then your child is moved into the MRI machine, where an image is taken of the area of the body being studied.
There are many reasons to have an MRI test. This test can find problems such as tumours, bleeding, injury, conditions that some children are born with, and infection. An MRI also may provide more information about a problem seen on an X-ray, ultrasound scan, CT scan, or nuclear medicine examination.
Let your child know that an MRI doesn't hurt. But he or she may feel warm near the area being imaged.
An MRI machine can be loud. Your child may get earplugs or headphones during the test. If you join your child in the room, you may need hearing protection as well.
Ask the doctor if your child will need sedation to help relax before the test. You can also ask if your child will swallow a contrast material before the test.
The doctor will tell you if your child should stop eating or drinking before the test.
The test usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. But it can take as long as 2 hours.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your child's test results.
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Current as of: September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
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