MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is used to “see” inside of the body so doctors can find disease or abnormal conditions.

MRI creates pictures that can show differences between healthy and unhealthy tissue. Doctors use MRI to examine the brain, spine, joints, blood vessels, heart, and other body parts.

3T MRI

WVU offers patients state-of-the-art MRI services, including the ultra- wide Siemens 3-Tesla Magnetom Verio MRI (3T MRI). Our 3T MRI unit is designed to help patients who have trouble with mobility and those who may need intra-operative procedures.

The first of its kind in the state, the 3T MRI allows neurologists and neurosurgeons to map out regions of the brain responsible for language, vision, muscle control, and sensation. The 3T MRI has the capability to do functional MRI (fMRI), which displays how the brain is functioning while a person is performing a specific task. This capability enables precision planning for brain and other surgical procedures.

The 3T MRI collects and processes information quickly, allowing patients to get through the scanner faster. It provides the best quality images for the most accurate diagnosis possible.

The 3T MRI’s advanced technology is combined with a much wider opening into the scanner, decreasing feelings of claustrophobia and allowing for more comfortable scanning of our larger patients.

We provide a television and DVD player so patients can be entertained during their scan. We can also connect personal MP3 players to allow patients to listen to their own music.

The new 3T MRI suite-one more example of WVU’s attention to patient-centered care.v

WVU’s Open MRI

open-mriHere at West Virginia University, we have several MRI units for the convenience of our inpatients and outpatients, including the Open MRI.

Open MRI helps people who prefer an open imaging platform. The Open MRI is also ideal for pediatric patients and those who are large-bodied.

The Open MRI experience also includes pictures and sound to entertain and relax patients. Different themes include places such as Australia and Africa and child- friendly themes like jungle and underwater scenes.

Open MRI

It’s a powerful diagnostic tool for doctors – and it just got a lot better for patients. It’s called “open” mri – or magnetic resonance imaging.

For Your Appointment

  • Please plan to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment so that we can complete any necessary paperwork before your visit.
  • Please bring your appointment letter along with any health insurance cards or forms
  • Be sure to bring any medical reports and x-rays concerning your condition that have been performed at a hospital other than Ruby Memorial Hospital

The MRI exam is performed in a special room that houses the MR system or scanner. You will be escorted into the room by a staff member of the MRI department and asked to lie down on a padded table that gently glides you into the scanner. You will be required to wear earplugs to protect your hearing because the MRI scanner will produce loud noises. These loud noises are normal.

The most important thing for you to do is to relax and remain still. Most MRI exams take between 20 to 45 minutes to complete depending on the body part imaged and how many images are needed, although some may take 60 to 90 minutes or longer. Once the MRI examination is completed, the pictures will be reviewed by a radiologist. The radiologist will send your doctor a report.

Unless your doctor requests that you not eat or drink anything before the exam, or you are there for an exam under anesthesia, there are no food or drink restrictions. Continue to take any medications prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed.

  • Please plan to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment so that we can complete any necessary paperwork before your visit.
  • Please bring your appointment letter along with any health insurance cards or forms
  • Be sure to bring any medical reports and x-rays concerning your condition that have been performed at a hospital other than Ruby Memorial Hospital.

You won’t be allowed to wear or carry anything metallic during the MRI exam, so it would be best to leave watches, jewelry, or anything made from metal at home. Even some cosmetics contain small amounts of metal, so it is best to not wear make-up.

Items that need to be removed before entering the MR system room include:

  • wallet, money clip, credit cards, or other cards with magnetic strips
  • cell phones, pagers, etc.
  • hearing aids
  • metallic jewelry, watches
  • pens, keys, coins, pocket knives
  • barrettes, hairpins, etc.
  • clothing that has a metal zipper, buttons, snaps, hooks, or under-wires
  • shoes, belt buckles, safety pins

You will be asked to fill out a screening form asking about anything that might create a health risk or interfere with the exam. Even if you have undergone an MRI before at this or another facility, you will still be asked to complete an MRI screening form.

Examples of things that may create a health hazard or other problems during the MRI exam:

  • pacemaker
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • neurostimulator system
  • aneurysm clip
  • metallic implant
  • implanted drug infusion device
  • foreign metal objects, especially if in or near the eye (piercings)
  • shrapnel or bullet
  • permanent cosmetics or tattoos
  • dentures/teeth with magnetic keepers
  • other implants that involve magnets
  • medication patches that contain metal foil (transdermal patch)

Important note: If you are pregnant or think that you could be pregnant, you must notify your physician and the MRI technologist at the MRI department prior to the MRI procedure.

MRI Locations

MRI exams are performed in the Physician Office Center and in the Health Science Center.

Health Science Center MRI Suite

From 7 am to 5 pm Enter through the Health Sciences Center pavilion entrance at the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center. Follow the yellow line on the floor to the elevators. Take the elevator to the basement level to get to MRI. After 5pm and on weekends Enter through Ruby Memorial Hospital. Take the elevator to the 3rd floor. Make a right off the elevators and then a quick left. Proceed down the long hallway past the registration desk and Radiology. MRI is on the right at the end of the hall.

Physician Office Center MRI Suite

From 7 am to 8 pm Enter through the front of Physician Office Center and turn left past the registration desk. Proceed to the MRI/ENT waiting room on the right. After 8 pm, enter through the front of the Physician Office Center using the MRI After Hours door to the left of the main entrance.