Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Spine
How To Prepare
Before your MRI test, tell your doctor and the MRI technologist if you:
- Are allergic to any medicines. The contrast material used for MRI does not contain iodine. If you know that you are allergic to the contrast material used for the MRI, tell your doctor before having another test.
- Have a health condition, such as diabetes, sickle cell anemia, or kidney problems. You may need to change your medicine schedule. And some conditions may prevent you from having an MRI using contrast material.
- Are or might be pregnant.
- Have any metal implanted in your body. This helps your doctor know if the test is safe for you. Tell your doctor if you have:
- Heart and blood vessel devices such as a coronary artery stent, a pacemaker, an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator), or a metal heart valve.
- Metal pins, clips, or metal parts in your body, including artificial limbs and dental work or braces.
- Any other implanted medical device, such as a medicine infusion pump or a cochlear implant.
- Cosmetic metal implants, such as in your ears, or tattooed eyeliner.
- Had recent surgery on a blood vessel. In some cases, you may not be able to have the MRI test.
- Have an intrauterine device (IUD) in place. An IUD may prevent you from having the MRI test done.
- Become very nervous in confined spaces. You need to lie very still inside the MRI magnet, so you may need medicine to help you relax. Or you may be able to have the test done with open MRI equipment. It is not as confining as standard MRI machines.
- Wear any medicine patches. The MRI may cause a burn at the patch site.
You may be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).