Adrenal Glands Diagnostics

Your doctor has recommended you for an MRI of your adrenal glands. An adrenal gland is a hormone-producing organ located on the top of each kidney. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create detailed image slices (cross sections) of the body. MR technology produces good soft-tissue images and allows the physician to evaluate different types of body tissue, as well as distinguish normal, healthy tissue from diseased tissue. Our team of expert physicians, nurses and technologists is led by Rola Saouaf, MD, Chief of Body and Cardiac MRI.

Why Choose the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center for an MRI?

Before Arriving for Your Exam

You can print and fill out the MRI Questionnaire and the MRI and Pregnancy form, if applicable, before arriving to speed the registration process.

You should not have anything to eat or drink 3-4 hours prior to the exam start time, unless instructed to do so by your physician.

If you are claustrophobic (fearful of small, enclosed areas) or experience pain when lying on your back for more than 30 minutes, your referring physician may prescribe a relaxant or pain medication to help you through the exam. The imaging physicians at Cedars-Sinai will not prescribe such medications for you.

We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.

You may also bring a CD to listen to during the procedure.

Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.

Please wear comfortable clothing.

After Arriving

You must tell the technologist, radiology nurse and/or imaging physician of any allergies you may have and if you are pregnant or are nursing.

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire, which will help determine if an MRI is safe for you. People with various implants (usually metallic) or with metal in their bodies (including some tattoos) may have difficulty with an MRI, which utilizes a strong magnetic field. The imaging physician needs to be informed of any of these potential problems.

Above left: MRI of normal adrenal glands; above right: MRI of abnormal adrenal glands. (The adrenal gland is in the top right of the image just to the right of the spine.)

During the Exam

You will change into a hospital gown and will lie on the scanning table headfirst with arms at your side. Coils (special devices to improve image quality) may be placed on or around your abdomen.

The scanning table will slide your whole body into the magnet. During the scan you will not feel anything but will hear intermittent humming, thumping, clicking and knocking sounds. Earplugs will be provided to help mask the noise and allow you to listen to music.

In most cases, the imaging physician requests a contrast agent (dye) to improve the quality of the images. The dye is injected into a vein in the arm, and may cause a cool sensation.

As pictures are taken, you must hold very still, and in some cases, hold your breath up to 25 seconds.

The technologist is always able to see and hear you during the exam.

Your MRI will take about 45 minutes to complete.

After Your Exam

There are no restrictions placed upon you. You may eat or drive as normal.

Your films will be examined by an imaging physician and a report sent to your doctor. Your doctor will review the results with you.

To request a copy of your images on a CD or film, call (310) 423-8000. To request a copy of your report, call (310) 423-8000.

Directions and Parking Information 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (310) 423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.