General Magnetic Resonance Imaging Preparation

You will be asked whether you have any metal in your body before your MR exam. Having metal in your body does not automatically disqualify you from having an MR exam. All patients are evaluated individually. In some cases, people with pacemakers, defibrillators or other electronic devices cannot have an MR scan.

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

You can print and fill out the MRI and MRI and Pregnancy forms, if applicable, on our Pre-Registration Questionnaire page before arriving to speed the registration process. 

An MRI scan at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center. The MRI gantry is the gray circular machine to the right. The patient has on an audio head set to listen to music, as well as a pillow and a pillow under the knees for lumbar support and comfort. The MRI technologist is always able to see and hear the patient, and the patient will have a communication ball in their hand. If they squeeze the ball, the technologist will immediately end the session.

Most MR procedures do not require advance preparation, but some do, including:

(Visit time is your estimated time at the imaging center. Your study will last significantly less time.)

MRI abdomen and/or pelvis (approximate visit time: two hours)

  • Do not eat or drink for three hours before your exam.

MR angiography (MRA)

MR Cardiac Imaging Without Stress Test (cardiomyopathy/myocarditis, left ventricular function and viability, specific Q and congenital)

  • No fasting required
  • You can expect to be at the imaging center about 2.5 hours

MR Cardiac Imaging With Stress Test (stress perfusion (vasodilator, pharmacologic)

  • Do not eat or drink three hours before your appointment. Water is OK.
  • No caffeine products 24 hours before your exam: coffee, tea, cola, chocolate, cough medicine, Excedrin, and all decaf products
  • Consult your physician about stopping beta blockers 48 hours before your exam
  • Consult your physician about stopping calcium channel blockers 24 hours before your exam
  • Remain on all other noncardiac medications

MRI Breast

Dynamic pelvic MRI (approximate scan time: 30 minutes)

  • You must empty your bladder two hours before the exam and not void again until the exam is complete.

MR enterography (approximate visit time: three hours)

  • Do not eat or drink eight hours before exam.

MRI of prostate (same prep as MRI spectroscopy of prostate) (approximate visit time: 90 minutes)

  • Use Fleet enema No. 1 two hours before your exam.
MR cholangiogram (approximate visit time: 90 minutes)
  • Do not eat or drink for eight hours before your exam.

MR abdomen and cholangiogram (approximate visit time: two hours)

  • Do not eat or drink for eight hours before your exam.

Cardiac MRI (Rest only) (approximate visit time: 2.5 hours)

  • No preparations required

Cardiac MR stress test (with adenosine) (approximate visit time: 3.5 hours)

  • Consult your physician about going off beta blockers for 48 hours and calcium channel blockers for 24 hours before the test.
  • Consult your physician before discontinuing ANY medication (especially if you are diabetic).
  • Do not eat or drink caffeine products (such as: chocolate, sodas, teas, coffee or Anacin®/Excedrin®) for 24 hours before exam. Note: Decaffeinated products still contain small amounts of caffeine and should be avoided.
  • Do not eat or drink three hours before your exam.
  • For SPECT exams, please wear a comfortable two-piece outfit and walking shoes.
  • Please bring all of your medications with you or a list of all medications with doses.

If you are having anesthesia, please read MRI and Anesthesia.

MRI scan room at S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center

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.