MRI Scans

Magnetic Resonance (MRI) Imaging at the UCI Neuroscience Imaging Center

MRI machine

What is MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.  It uses a combination of: a high strength static magnetic field, dynamic magnetic gradients, and the absorption/emission of radio frequency energy to create images of biological tissue.  It is particularly well suited for brain imaging, which comprises the bulk of MRI research done on the UCI campus.

Is MRI Safe?

Yes. MRI is a harmless procedure as long as you do not have any metal in or on your body. We take extra caution to ensure that you are safe before entering the scanner. In addition to a MRI Safety Screening Form, we will use a handheld ferromagnetic detection device like the ones you see in airport security.

What Should be Worn During the Scan?

For safety purposes, it is important that you wear clothing that is free of metal during the MRI. Standard zippers on jeans are fine, but other items, such as underwire bras or sweaters with a metal zipper, will need to be removed before entering the scanning suite. If your clothing has metal fasteners or elements that cannot be removed, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown for the scan.  Any jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc., should also be removed. A locker will be provided to secure your belongings.

The scanning suite can get chilly at times. While we do provide a light blanket for you during the scan, comfortable and warm clothing is encouraged!

Should I be Concerned About Radiation Exposure?

No, you have no reason to be concerned about radiation exposure. MRI does not expose you to any ionizing radiation.  You will be exposed to brief amounts of radio frequency energy, the same that you are constantly bathed in and that your car radio receiver converts to sound.


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