Skip to main content
Our Services

MRI Scans

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps doctors at NYU Langone’s imaging services diagnose and treat certain medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone, and other internal structures of the body. X-rays are not used as part of this technology.

Radiologist Reviews MRI Scans

Images can be displayed and examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed, or copied to a CD. Radiologists at NYU Langone review and interpret your MRI results to diagnose a variety of different diseases, including abdominal, cardiac, musculoskeletal, neurological, and spine-related conditions.

NYU Langone MRI scanners have short bore technology, which makes for a more comfortable scanning experience. Short bore means that the length of the tube you're in during the scan is shorter than usual. Your head and neck may be outside the tube, unless that is the area you are having scanned.

Patient Receives MRI Scan

If you are claustrophobic, please discuss this with your doctor prior to your MRI appointment. If sedation is prescribed by your doctor, notify the front desk when you arrive that you are taking prescribed medication for your exam.

Why Doctors Order an MRI Scan

NYU Langone doctors use detailed MRI images to better evaluate various parts of the body in order to determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be adequately assessed with other imaging methods, such as X-rays, ultrasound, or CT scans.

However, MRI takes longer than a CT scan, and may not be ideal for all parts of the body. For example, air-filled structures, such as the lungs, are not well evaluated with MRI and may be better evaluated using CT.

Depending on what information your doctor needs, the MRI scan may require the use of a contrast agent given through a vein to assist doctors in seeing certain anatomical structures within your body.

For Those with Implanted Devices

Because MRI technology involves the use of a magnetic field, our schedulers need to ask if you have any metal implanted devices, as well as the make and model of those devices.

The reason for these questions is that certain implants may prevent you from having your exam for safety reasons. Asking as much information up front helps us make your experience at the time of the scan as efficient and as fast as possible.

Examples of problematic implants include:

  • cardiac pacemakers or old pacemaker wires
  • brain aneurysm clips
  • middle ear prostheses
  • neurostimulators

Please tell the intake personnel and your technologist if you have a prosthetic device, such as a hip or knee replacement. In most cases, the presence of this type of replacement does not exclude you from having an imaging exam performed. This information is helpful, though, in terms of modifying the type of MRI study performed.

Patients should not wear any eye makeup or hairspray. Believe it or not, they contain metal and can cause problems in a MRI scanner.

What to Bring to Your MRI Scan

Please bring any previous imaging study results, such as reports, films, or CD-ROMs, from tests that may include X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans, if they are available.

On the day of your exam, bring your prescription, insurance card, and any related insurance forms or pre-approvals. We are able to play a variety of music during your MRI—if you have a preference, simply bring a CD or iPod.

Preparing for an MRI Scan

Preparation for your MRI depends on the type of exam you are having. If you are having a cholangiogram, or a magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, you need to fast for four hours prior to your exam. If you are having an MR-enterography exam, you are required to drink oral contrast.

If your doctor has ordered an MRI with contrast using gadolinium, and you have a history of diabetes, kidney problems, or high blood pressure, you must have your creatinine level checked prior to your MRI. The blood test must be taken within six weeks of your exam. If you have had or will be having a liver transplant, the bloodwork must be performed within one week of the exam.

During the MRI Scan

When you schedule your appointment, our scheduling associate lets you know how early to arrive. Depending on the exam, it may be 30 to 60 minutes before your appointment. This allows you enough time to register and complete all necessary paperwork, forms, or questionnaires.

Please indicate any possibility of pregnancy to your physician and the scheduling office when you book the appointment. When you arrive, inform the MRI technologist as well.

Gowns are provided for your exam. We have private dressing rooms with lockers for your clothes and valuables, although we recommend that you leave your valuables at home.

Please remove all body piercings, jewelry, watches, eyeglasses, hairpins, wallets, and other metallic objects prior to your exam.

After you have removed all metal objects, our MRI technologist positions you on the table of the scanner. Your head is placed in a padded plastic cradle or on a pillow, and the table slides into the scanner. An intercom system allows you and the technologist to communicate with each other at all times.

In order to obtain clear pictures, you are asked to hold very still and to relax. You may be asked to hold your breath for up to 20 seconds. Any movement during the scan, especially of your head or back—even moving your jaw to talk—can blur and degrade the pictures.

The machine makes rapid, loud thumping noises as it takes images. During this time, you should breathe quietly and normally and refrain from moving, coughing, or wiggling. There are multiple series of image acquisitions, each with its own particular noises. When the thumping noise stops, you must be still and maintain your position in the scanner.

The entire exam typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes depending on exam type.

After an MRI Scan

After your procedure, you are escorted back to the dressing room. You are typically able to leave and resume your regular diet and activities. Occasionally, a procedure requires that you stay to be monitored afterward. If you brought prior images for comparison, you can pick them up at the front desk when you leave.

Our specialized radiologists read the MRI images and dictate a report that is sent immediately to your referring physician, who contacts you with the results.

Questions or Comments about Your Visit

Your experience is important to us. If you have questions or comments about your visit, please email or call our ombudsman at 212-263-5222.

Plan Your Visit

Our Locations

NYU Langone Radiology—32nd Street

150 East 32nd Street
New York, NY 10016

NYU Langone Radiology—Ambulatory Care Bay Ridge

6740 Fourth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11220

NYU Langone Radiology—Ambulatory Care Center East 41st Street

222 East 41st Street
5th Floor
New York, NY 10017

NYU Langone Radiology at 22nd Street

310 East 22nd Street
Ground Floor
New York, NY 10010

General Info: 212-674-0531
Scheduling: 212-263-8868
Medical Records: 212-263-7059
Fax: 212-263-2290

More About This Location

Getting Here
NYU Langone Radiology—Center for Biomedical Imaging

660 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016

NYU Langone Radiology—Gramercy Diagnostic Radiology

380 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10010

General Info: 212-477-8180
Scheduling: 212-477-8180
Medical Records: 212-477-8180
Fax: 212-477-7907

More About This Location

Getting Here
NYU Langone Radiology—Metropolitan Diagnostic Imaging—Garden City

224 Seventh Street
Garden City, NY 11530

NYU Langone Radiology—Next Generation Radiology—Great Neck

560 Northern Boulevard
Suites 102/111
Great Neck, NY 11021

General Info: 516-504-1600
Scheduling Suite 102: 516-504-1600
Fax Suite 102: 516-504-6398
Medical Records: 516-504-1600

More About This Location

Getting Here
NYU Langone Radiology—Northern Breast & Women’s Imaging

6 Ohio Drive
Suite 205
Lake Success, NY 11042

NYU Langone Radiology—NRAD, Garden City

765 Stewart Avenue
Garden City, NY 11530

NYU Langone Radiology—NRAD, Hillcrest

80-15 164th Street
Jamaica Estates, NY 11432

NYU Langone Radiology—NRAD, Lake Success, Suite 104

6 Ohio Drive
Suite 104
Lake Success, NY 11042

NYU Langone Radiology—NRAD, Woodbury

105 Froehlich Farm Boulevard
Woodbury, NY 11797

NYU Langone Radiology—NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn

150 55th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11220

General Info and Appointments: 718-630-7400
Vascular Interventional Radiology Appointments: 718-630-7408
Fax: 718-630-6453

More About This Location

Getting Here
NYU Langone Radiology—NYU Langone Orthopedic Center

333 East 38th Street
6th Floor
New York, NY 10016

General Info: 646-501-7440
Scheduling: 646-501-7440
Medical Records: 212-263-7108
Medical Records: 212-263-7059
Fax: 212-263-2290

More About This Location

Getting Here
NYU Langone Radiology—Premier Imaging—Midwood

813 Quentin Road
Suite 201
Brooklyn, NY 11223

NYU Langone Radiology—Premier Imaging—Park Slope

348 13th Street
Suite 101
Brooklyn, NY 11215

NYU Langone Radiology—Promedica Imaging

6 Ohio Drive
Suite 204
Lake Success, NY 11042

NYU Langone Radiology—Queens Medical Imaging

69-15 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375

NYU Langone Radiology—Regional Radiology—Bard Avenue

360 Bard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10310

NYU Langone Radiology—Regional Radiology—Outer Bridge

4849 Arthur Kill Road
Staten Island, NY 10309

NYU Langone Radiology—Regional Radiology—Richmond Avenue

3917 Richmond Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10312

NYU Langone Radiology—Tisch Hospital

560 First Avenue
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016

General Info: 212-263-5230
Nuclear Medicine Scheduling: 212-263-7410
Nuclear Medicine Fax: 212-263-7519
Nuclear Cardiology Stress Test Scheduling: 212-263-5667
Nuclear Cardiology Stress Test Fax: 212-263-2867
Vascular Interventional Radiology Scheduling: 212-263-5898
Vascular Interventional Radiology Fax: 212-263-7914
Neurointerventional Radiology Scheduling: 212-263-6008
Neurointerventional Radiology Fax: 212-263-0405
MRI with Anesthesia Scheduling: 212-263-8868
MRI with Anesthesia Fax: 212-263-2290
Presurgical Testing: 212-263-3821
Medical Records: 212-263-5227

More About This Location

Getting Here
Perlmutter Cancer Center Radiology—34th Street

160 East 34th Street
2nd and 3rd Floors
New York, NY 10016

General Info: 212-731-5755
Scheduling: 212-731-5002
Medical Records: 212-731-5755
Fax (Diagnostic Imaging): 212-263-7356
Fax (Breast Imaging): 212-263-7387

More About This Location

Getting Here
Perlmutter Cancer Center—Rego Park

97-77 Queens Boulevard
Rego Park, NY 11374

Radiology: 718-261-8686
Radiology Fax: 718-261-3803
Infusion: 718-517-6557
Infusion Fax: 718-517-6558

More About This Location

Getting Here

Related News

We can help you find a doctor. Call 646-929-7800 or
browse our specialists.