Information for referrers about MRI

Information for referrers about MRI

If you do not give us the correct information in the referral the patient may be refused their scan.

Anxious Patients

The scanner is a short tunnel which is open at both ends so please advise patients who are particularly claustrophobic to contact us to let us know before they come for their scan. Many patients worry about this aspect of the scan but find that it isn’t as bad as they had imagined or been told.

Some patients benefit from taking a sedative prior to the scan which must be prescribed by the referrer.  

Surgical Implants

We need to know whether the patient has any implants in situ. We will then decide if they are MRI compatible or not.

Cardiac pacemakers, ICDs, aneurysm clips and certain other surgical implants need to be investigated before the patient’s appointment. Please complete the mandatory section of the request form accurately being aware that the presence of a pacemaker or aneurysm clip will possibly be a contraindication for the scan. 

Please give details of implants (make, model etc.) on the request form or contact the department on 01752 (4)32511so that we can make necessary enquiries/arrangements.

Contrast Media

Sometimes we need to give an injection of contrast media. This contains Gadolinium which rarely causes any reactions, however it is important that we know if a patient has any renal function impairment prior to administering contrast media. To this end it would be appreciated if you could provide a recent eGFR on the request form, if possible. This is particularly important for patients over the age of 65, those with diabetes, or impaired liver or renal function.


If patients are pregnant, national safety guidelines recommend that we do not carry out an MRI scan unless it is clinically urgent. Please decide with the radiologist if the scan is necessary or could be delayed until after the pregnancy. You must state the patient’s positive pregnancy status on the request form. Many pregnant women have had MRI scans with no reported problems. Please advise patients to contact the department if they have any concerns about this. 

What happens during the scan?

Please see ‘Information for Patients’ section.

What happens after the scan?

Please see ‘Information for Patients’ section.

For more information for clinicians visit our Staffnet page here.

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