Test Details & Preparation
A chest MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to create pictures of the chest (thoracic area). It does not use radiation (x-rays).
For a chest MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, you may be asked to wear a hospital gown or clothing without metal fasteners. Certain types of metal can cause blurry images or be dangerous to have on in the scanner room. You lie on a narrow table, which slides into the large tunnel-shaped scanner. You must be still during the exam, because movement causes blurred images. During the MRI, the person who operates the machine will watch you from another room. The test most often lasts 30 - 60 minutes, but it may take longer.
You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 to 6 hours before the scan. Before a chest MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, tell your doctor if you have brain aneurysm clips certain types of artificial heart valves pacemaker cochlear implants kidney disease or are on dialysis, etc.
An MRI exam causes no pain. If you have trouble lying still or are very nervous, you may be given medicine to relax you. Too much movement can blur MRI images and cause errors when the doctor looks at the images.
A chest MRI provides detailed pictures of tissues within the chest area. The scan may be done to provide an alternative to angiography, or avoid repeated exposure to radiation clarify findings from earlier x-rays or CT scans diagnose abnormal growths in the chest evaluate blood flow show lymph nodes and blood vessels show the structures of the chest from many angles see if cancer in the chest has spread to other areas of the body and detect tumours.
A normal result means your chest area appears normal. An abnormal chest MRI may be due to abnormal blood vessels in the lungs abnormal lymph nodes aortic dissection aortic stenosis atrial myxoma Oesophageal tumour lung tumours and more.