Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

Font Size

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Abdomen

Risks continued...

Metal parts in the eyes can damage the retina. If you may have metal fragments in the eye, an X-ray of the eyes may be done before the MRI. If metal is found, the MRI will not be done.

Iron pigments in tattoos or tattooed eyeliner can cause skin or eye irritation.

An MRI can cause a burn with some medicine patches. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are wearing a patch.

There is a slight chance of an allergic reaction if contrast material is used during the MRI. But most reactions are mild and can be treated using medicine. Contrast material that contains gadolinium may cause a serious problem (called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis) in people with kidney failure. If you have decreased kidney function or serious kidney disease, tell your doctor before having an MRI scan.

There also is a slight risk of an infection at the IV site if contrast material was used.

Results

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test done with a large machine that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the belly.

The radiologist may discuss initial results of the MRI with you right after the test. Complete results are usually available for your doctor in 1 to 2 days.

An MRI scan can sometimes find a problem in a tissue or an organ that is not seen by X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan, even when the size and shape of the tissue or organ looks normal.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen
Normal:

The organs and blood vessels are normal in size, shape, and location.

No abnormal growths, such as tumors, are present.

No blockage is found in the ducts draining the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas.

No blockage is found in the tubes (ureters) that lead out of the kidneys.

No bleeding, abnormal collections of fluid, blockage in the flow of blood, or bulges in the blood vessels (aneurysms) are present.

No signs of inflammation or infection are present.

Abnormal:

An organ is too large, too small, or in the wrong place. The MRI also may show areas of scarring or injury.

Growths are found, such as tumors that could be either benign or cancerous. Signs of infection may be present.

A collection of fluid is present, which could mean you have internal bleeding or an infection.

A bulge in the wall of a blood vessel (aneurysm) is present. Blockage in or narrowing of a blood vessel also may be found.

Blockage is present in the bile ducts. Reasons for the blockage may include a gallstone, tumor, infection, or inflammation.

Blockage is present in the tubes leading from the kidneys (ureters). Reasons for the blockage may include a kidney stone, tumor, infection, or inflammation.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
highlighted areas of the brain
How well do you know yours?
oatmeal and eggs
The best and worst for you.
dog begging at table
Foods your dog should never eat.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
mature woman with serious expression
What do you know?
chlamydia
Pictures and facts.
Healthy Snack
13 delicious options.
Take your medication
Separate fact from fiction.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
young woman in sun
What to watch for.
woman clutching at stomach
Do you know what's causing yours?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.