Research Patient/Volunteer Information

Most studies are currently done on the 3T research MR scanner at the UCSF Center for Molecular and Functional Imaging (CMFI).

Volunteer Qualifications

If any of the following apply to you, you may not be a candidate for the liver MRI/MRS exam, part of the exam may not be able to be performed, or the quality of your data may be compromised.

Please call (415) 353-9409

  1. Vascular clips (Brain).
  2. Vascular clips (Other than brain-okay, after six months).
  3. Severe claustrophobia.
  4. Cardiac Pacemaker.
  5. Metal in eye (previous or current).
  6. Any other metallic or foreign object in body. Please check with us or your physician prior to your appointment.

Volunteer Preparation

  1. Arrive 30 minutes before the time of your appointment to provide yourself time to complete the MRI screening form, read and sign the consent form, change and prepare for the exam.
  2. If you are claustrophobic and require sedation, please bring the sedation with you. We suggest that sedatives be taken about 1/2 hour before the start of the examination, or as prescribed by your physician.

Patient Procedures

Upon arrival to the CMFI MRI scanner, patients should first check in with the receptionist at the front desk. A research associate will come to the waiting room to talk with the patient and answer any questions the patient might have before the exam. After the paperwork is in order, the patient will be shown to the changing area and instructed to change into hospital attire and store all of his/her personal belongings in a secure locker. After changing, the patient should wait in the changing room until someone brings him/her to the MRI exam room. Any patient who has brought prescription sedatives with him/her needs to talk to the MRI technician before taking the sedatives (which should be about 1/2 hour before the start of the examination).

When the patient is brought back to the exam room, he/she will be instructed to lie down on the MRI bed. A coil device will be strapped to the patient's abdomen. The patient will be given earphones or earplugs to help block out noise from the scanner, and moved into the MRI tube.

During the examination, there is a communication system set up between the control room and the patient. In order to get the best images and data, the patient needs to remain motionless and relaxed during the entire examination, which lasts about 50 minutes. If the patient has a question, concern or non-emergency problem during the exam, he/she should wait for a break between image acquisition sequences to address the technician in the control room. Some of the image acquisition sequences will require the patient to hold his/her breath for about 20 seconds. The technician will instruct the patient about this. As soon as the examination is over, the patient will be removed from the MRI tube. After this, the patient may return to the changing room, retrieve his/her personal belongings and then leave.