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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
MRI is a routine diagnostic imaging exam that uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce 2- and 3-dimensional images of the body's organs, tissues, and bones.
An MRI scanner is a large, tube-shaped magnet that provides a strong magnetic field around your child. A radiofrequency coil is placed over the body part that is to be imaged. The magnetic field, along with applied radiofrequency waves, temporarily alters the alignment of hydrogen protons found in water molecules within the body. Computers construct the images based on the radiofrequency signals emitted by the protons.
While scheduling your MRI appointment and possibly speaking with an anesthesia assessment nurse, you will receive verbal preparation instructions that include dietary restrictions. It is very important that you follow all these instructions or the scan may need to be rescheduled.
When you arrive, please go to the MRI radiology check-in desk on the second floor of the main hospital in Boston or the first floor check-in desk at our Waltham facility. An ambulatory service representative will check your child in and verify his or her registration information.
We will give you a safety screening questionnaire to fill out for your child:
Your child may be able to watch a movie or listen to music during the scan. If you brought a movie or iPod from home, you can give it to the MRI team member. Otherwise, your child can choose a movie or music from the department's collection.
The radiologist's report will be sent to the physician who requested the exam and your child's doctor will then discuss the results with you. If there is a finding on the scan that requires urgent attention, we will contact the referring physician in order to discuss the findings and plan further treatment.
Once your child is asleep:
An MRI technologist will perform your child's scan and the anesthesia team will continue to monitor your child.
Sometimes, patients receive a substance called gadolinium during the scan, which is needed to provide additional information about some parts of the body. Gadolinium is given through the IV.
MRI scans consist of several sequences of a few minutes duration each that cumulatively take anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes, depending on the information required by the radiologist and your physician. We will give you a more specific time frame before the scan begins.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”