Preparation for MRI

Preparation  is obligatory for the following examinations:

  • MRI of the abdominal cavity,
  • MRI of the lesser pelvis,
  • MRI of the whole body

How to prepare for MRI of the abdominal cavity, MRI of the lesser pelvis, MRI of the whole body

Preparation for MRI of the abdominal cavity, MRI of the lesser pelvis, or MRI of the whole body should start 24 hours before the examination:

  • The day before the diagnostic examination, exclude fibre-containing foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Do not eat foods that increase gas generation in the intestinal tract. These include cabbage, bread, legumes, dairy products.
  • In the evening before the examination, patients prone to constipation are recommended to do a cleansing enema or take a laxative to prepare the intestinal tract. For patients that are not prone to constipation, just a timely defecation will be sufficient. Remember that to perform MRI of the lesser pelvis, the rectum should be free of faecal masses and gas, therefore, the second defecation is recommended immediately prior to the examination.
  • The last meal should be not later than 8 hours before the examination.
  • Drinking still water is allowed 3 to 6 hours before the examination.
  • Urinate 2 hours before the examination
  • Arrive for the examination in a fasted state
  • 30-40 minutes before the examination, you need to take a medicinal product that prevents the increased intestinal motility (Buscopan, No-Spa, Drotaverine 120 mg), or 1 mL of Glucagon intramuscularly or intravenously before the examination.

Special aspects of preparation for MRI of the abdominal cavity, MRI of the lesser pelvis, MRI of the whole body for women

Plan the appointment date for MRI of the lesser pelvis so that the examination is on day 7-14 of the menstrual cycle. During menstruation, MRI is not performed, except for emergency situations. It is acceptable to perform the examination during the second phase of the cycle.

It is necessary to inform the doctor about the day of the cycle, in case of menopause, when it occurred, as well as about any history of surgical interventions.

It is recommended to urinate 1 hour before the examination, so that there is a little urine in the urinary bladder. Drinking water specifically for the examination is not required.

Preparation for MRI of the abdominal cavity, MRI of the lesser pelvis, MRI of the whole body for men

Urinate 1 hour before the examination.

For tumour detection, contrast-enhanced or non-enhanced MRI can be performed.

If you are appointed for contrast-enhanced MRI, arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time. It is necessary for installation of an intravenous catheter, through which a contrast agent is administered.

Few more rules of preparation for MRI:

  • Remove jewellery – rings, chains, earrings, hairpins, bracelets, watches.
  • Completely empty the pockets of clothes.
  • On the day of examination, do not use makeup, hair spray, cream.
  • Inform on the presence of tattoos and the time they were made.
  • Bring with you, if available:  a referral for MRI, results of previous examinations in the form of reports in paper or in electronic form (e.g. CDs/DVDs).

Read about contraindications to MRI here.

MRI of the spine, brain, neck, thoracic organs, joints does not require special preparation.