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    Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis With MRI

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    How Long Does the MRI Exam Take?

    Allow two hours for your MRI exam. In most cases, the procedure takes 40 to 80 minutes; during that time, several dozen images may be taken.

    What Happens Before the MRI Exam?

    Personal items such as your watch, wallet (including any credit cards with magnetic strips that can be erased by the magnet), and jewelry should be left at home if possible or removed prior to the MRI scan. Secured lockers are available to store personal possessions.

    What Happens During the MRI Exam?

    You may be asked to wear a hospital gown during the MRI scan.

    As the MRI scan begins, you will hear the equipment making a variety of different sounds, including a muffled thumping sound or banging sound that will last for several minutes at a time. Other than that sound, you should experience no unusual sensations during the scanning.

    Certain MRI exams require an injection of a contrast material. This helps identify abnormalities in certain parts of the body on the scan images.

    Feel free to ask questions and tell the technologist or doctor if you have any concerns.

    What Happens After the MRI?

    Your doctor will discuss the test results with you. Most imaging centers will give you a copy of your scan on a CD disk that you can take to your doctor at your next appointment. It is a good idea to let your doctor know that you have completed your scan, so that he or she can contact the imaging center to get your report. Generally, you can resume your usual activities immediately.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on March 06, 2015
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