Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
MRI is a routine diagnostic imaging exam that uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to produce 2- and 3-dimensional images of your child's body's organs, tissues and bones.
An MRI scan is:
- often the imaging method of choice because it does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays)
- a way to better evaluate various parts of the body and certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging technologies
- painless, since the MRI scanner takes pictures without touching your child's body
- interpreted by a pediatric radiologist or pediatric neuroradiologist; the results are reported to your child's physician
How Boston Children's Hospital approaches MRI
Performing MRIs in children poses unique challenges. The Division of MRI at Children's provides a soothing, kid-friendly environment with:
- highly trained pediatric radiologists with expertise in supervising and interpreting MRI in children of all ages
- technologists with years of experience in imaging children and teens
- protocols and procedures specifically for pediatric use, which means age-appropriate care for children and the best possible images for the radiologists
- distraction techniques that include music and video goggles
- the Try Without program, which gives 4- to 6-year-olds the chance to try to undergo their MRIs without sedation.