What Are the Side Effects of an MRI?


Quick Answer

According the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, no known side effects are associated with magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, but some risk factors should be considered before undergoing the procedure. People who have pacemakers, artificial limbs or other implanted medical devices, face a risk of malfunction or the heating up of these devices during the procedure. Comprehensive screening is conducted before an MRI to prevent this reaction.

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What Are the Side Effects of an MRI?
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Full Answer

In patients with kidney disease, the contrast agent used can cause problems, and others face a small risk of an allergic reaction caused by the contrast agent used during the procedure, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Medicated patches as well as the wire used to monitor the heart rate and respiration during the procedure both pose a burn risk to the patient.

According to NPS MedicineWise, an MRI is safe during pregnancy after the first trimester, but in most cases, nonurgent scans are typically conducted after the baby is born. One possible side effect of an MRI is an incidental finding or abnormality that may have nothing to do with the original reason for an MRI. This can lead to anxiety and unnecessary follow-ups and treatments that can increase the cost and risk for the patient.

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