Your Radiologist Explains Pediatric MRI
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Hello, I’m Dr. Cynthia Rigsby, a pediatric radiologist at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. I’d like to talk with you about pediatric magnetic resonance imaging or M-R-I.
M-R-I does not use radiation. Instead, it uses radio waves, a magnetic field and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the inside of your child’s body. MRI may be used to help diagnose or monitor treatment for a variety of conditions within the brain, chest, abdomen, pelvis and extremities.
If your child is scheduled for an M-R-I, there are several things you can do to prepare.
First, tell the pediatrician about your child’s recent illnesses, medications and allergies, especially to contrast materials. Your child should wear loose, comfortable clothing and may be asked to wear a gown.
It’s important to tell the technologist if your child has any metal in his or her body. Metal objects, such as metallic clips from a previous surgery, can affect the M-R images and the magnetic field may cause problems with implanted devices such as cochlear implants.
M-R-I can involve an injection of contrast material in a vein in your child’s arm or hand. Otherwise,
M-R-I is painless. Because the machine produces loud tapping and buzzing noises, children are provided with earplugs or headphones to protect their hearing.
Some children may find it uncomfortable to remain still for long periods while others may experience anxiety during the exam. Ask the doctor if sedation will be needed to help your child remain still, and discuss whether your child should not eat, drink liquids or take medication beforehand.
Children who have recently been ill will usually not be sedated. If your child has been or is becoming ill and sedation is planned, talk to your doctor about rescheduling the exam.
For more information about M-R-I, visit Radiology Info dot org.
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