MRI Safety: Ensuring Eye Safety with a Pre-Metal Check
Mar 24, 2015
Magnets attract metal. An MRI scanner is considered a very large magnet – it uses a strong magnetic field (and radio waves) to safely create pictures of the inside of the body. Metal should not be near an MRI scanner, including credit cards, car keys, coins and even jewelry. Some metal in the body may interfere with the pictures; however most often it is still safe to have an MRI. Our technologists and radiologists are trained to know what is safe for you.
If you have a history of working with metal (welding, grinding, machinist) or have had metal fragments/filings in your eyes, we take an extra precaution to ensure the safety of your eyes. Before your MRI, you will have quick and painless X-ray or CT pre-metal check of your eyes, which is free of charge. A radiologist will review the metal check and give the OK for the MRI exam. If you have had a pre-metal check in the past, the radiologist will determine if you need another check, in the event that any possible fragments moved or shifted.
Image from a CT pre-metal check.
Suburban Imaging staff and imaging technologists are trained in MRI safety. You will be asked several times by different staff members about your medical history and if you have any metal on your body, to ensure your safety and optimal images from the exam.
The full MRI metal safety checklist can be found on our website.