UCSF Radiology Shares Information About MRI Safety

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams use a strong magnet to take pictures of internal organs and tissues. MRI is different from CT or X-ray because it does not use ionizing radiation (X-rays). Images of the body are made by using magnets and radio waves, and the level of detail that an MR image can provide is exceptional. This is why MRI is usually the preferred method for the diagnosis of many types of conditions and injuries. There are no known biological risks for humans from being exposed to magnetic fields of the strength used in medical imaging. Therefore, MRI exams do not pose any risk to an average patient – just as long as appropriate safety guidelines are followed.

MRI is an extremely safe procedure when performed by trained experts. As such, the team at UCSF Health's radiology department put together a few safety videos to remind patients and staff about the importance of MRI safety. Remember that an MRI scanner is like a big magnet surrounded by a powerful magnetic field. It is helpful to understand the basic physics of an MRI. Understanding the sheer force of the magnetic field helps radiologists, techs, nurses, staff and patients avoid potential dangers. Learn more by watching the video below.

When it comes to personal effects (such as pens, keys, glasses, credit cards, etc.) – having these items on your person during an MRI exam can be very dangerous. This is why proper MRI screening protocols should be followed. Learn more by watching the video below.

Learn more about MRI screening procedures at UCSF.

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