Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

About Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at Riverview Medical Center

What is an MRI?

An MR or MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which uses a magnetic field and radio waves to generate cross sectional pictures of your body to show the existence of injury, disease, or atypical conditions of the body. Your doctor may have ordered this test as a follow-up to a suspicious symptom or condition.

How does an MRI work?


Using magnetic fields instead of radiation, images are obtained by surrounding the area of the body the doctor wishes to study with a magnet, which causes water molecules inside your body to move. In some cases, contrast may be used to provide a more detailed study. The computer will pick up on the movement and convert it into images for your radiologist to examine and interpret.

How is an MRI different than other imaging techniques?

CT scans use x-rays to make pictures and therefore small amounts of ionizing radiation, MRIs are completed using no radiation and therefore a good alternative for patients who cannot tolerate or do not wish to be exposed to radiation. Because radiation is not used, there is no risk of exposure to ionizing radiation during an MRI procedure.

What are MRIs typically used for?

MRIs may be used to examine many different parts of the body including, the brain, spine, joints, abdomen, pelvis, breast and vascular system. MRIs are sometimes used in the diagnosis of carotid artery disease, screening for intracranial aneurysms, and screening for renal artery stenosis.

Is MRI a safe option for me?

Due to the strong magnetic force, patients with implanted pacemakers may not have an MRI. Additional devices which should not be used in combination with an MRI include: some older intracranial aneurysm clips, cochlear implants, certain prosthetic devices, implanted drug infusion pumps, neurostimulators, bone-growth stimulators, certain intrauterine contraceptive devices, or any other type of iron-based metal implants. Some of the contrast dye used in some MRI may cause an allergic reaction, please notify your physician if you are sensitive to medications. You should also notify him/her if you have a history of kidney disease, kidney failure, kidney transplant, liver disease, or you are on dialysis.

Breast MRI

Breast MRI is available through our Women’s Center, also a designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, earning accreditation in breast MRI, mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, and breast ultrasound (including ultrasound-guided breast biopsy).

Scheduled for an MRI? Download and complete this safety screening form before you arrive.

Care Locations

  • Riverview Medical Center, 1 Riverview Plaza, Red Bank, NJ 07701

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