MRI Safety Guidelines

MRI Safety Guidelines

MRI safety guidelines are established by the MRI Safety Committee and apply to all clinical and research MRI systems operated at UCSF and SFVAHCS. Safety policies and procedures are evaluated on a monthly basis by the MRI Safety Committee, and updated online for reference. The goal of this webpage is to succinctly present the latest MRI safety guidelines developed by the MR Safety Committee, and to offer links to more complete data and regulations. The below information is current as of October 2022.

What Can Go Into the Magnet?

The following absolute and relative contraindications for MRI are the most common items or medical devices encountered at UCSF. This is by no means a complete list. New medical devices not found here should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This webpage will be updated when new information becomes available.

Anyone coming near the MRI magnetic field should be screened for contraindications. A useful reference for determining MR compatibility is Dr. Frank Shellock's Pocket Guide to MR Procedures and Metallic Objects. An excellent online reference maintained by Dr. Shellock and colleagues is The best resource for assessing the MR conditionality of individual devices is the manufacturer’s website.  

Note that Normal Operating Mode for MR scanners is limited to a maximum whole-body specific absorption rate (SAR) of 2W/kg. This is useful to remember when considering the specific MRI parameter recommendations for various MRI conditional devices.

MRI and Pregnancy

MRI Safety Committee and Training