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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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Updated April 21, 2009

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Photo © A.D.A.M.
Definition: An MRI is a device used for medical imaging which, unlike x-rays and CT scans, uses magnets and radio waves to take pictures of the body.

Because an MRI machine uses powerful magnets, you cannot have an MRI if you are wearing or have certain types of metals implanted in your body. Some studies have also suggested that cochlear implants can interfere with the images.

MRIs are usually done in the hospital and take about 1 to 2 hours. You should tell your doctor beforehand if you are claustrophobic, as you will have to pass through a very narrow space for the MRI.

Also Known As: Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging
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