What is a MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced technology used to view inside the human body in 3-D (three-dimensionally). MRI utilizes a huge magnet, radio waves and a sophisticated computer to make visible the tiniest details of your body. It is used to diagnose a wide variety of conditions from brain disease and cancerous tumors to herniated discs and a variety of soft tissue injuries.

What can I expect prior to the text?

Getting an MRI is a simple procedure. There is no need to put on a gown as long as you wear clothing without metal (zippers, snaps, clasps, etc.). If necessary, a gown will be provided. In some cases, you may require an injection of contrast material to help certain body parts show up better.

It is very important to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment so you can complete the necessary paperwork. The paper work will be a series of questions, and it is very important that you notify us if you have any of the following:

  • Aneurysm Clip

  • Pacemaker

  • Heart valve

  • Implanted defibulator

  • Metal fragments in eyes

  • Cardiac or renal stents

  • Hearing implants (Cochlear/Stapes)

  • Shrapnel anywhere in the body

Doctors diagnose images from the patient's skull X-ray film to check for brain abnormalities.

Find an Imaging Location Near You

Physician’s order required for services.


All patients will be checked for metallic items on or within the body. Certain items such as those listed above may not be safe for the MR scanner. Please check with the MRI Department or your physician prior to coming to the hospital. The MRI Department can be reached at (859) 301-6649.


St. Elizabeth Healthcare operates eight Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) facilities that serve Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Grant and Owen counties. Each one is accredited through the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR is the highest standard of accreditation and is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care.

At St. Elizabeth Healthcare, we offer a wide variety of services including:

  • MRI

  • Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA) and Non-contrast MRA

  • Spectroscopy

  • Breast MRI – used in cases where a lesion is not properly seen in mammography and for those women who are a high breast cancer risk.

  • Prostate MRI – uses an endorectal coil for detailed prostate imaging.


All St. Elizabeth Healthcare MRI Technologists hold an advanced registry from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT). The ARRT is the world’s largest credentialing organization that seeks to ensure high quality patient care in medical imaging, interventional procedures and radiation therapy.

All eight of our locations are accredited by both The Joint Commission (TJC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The accreditation and certification by TJC and ACR are recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s commitment to providing the community the highest level of care does not stop with quality. We also have one of the highest levels of safety programs in the area. By following the ACR’s and TJC’s standards for safety at all facilities, technologists ensure the highest possible patient safety and image quality.


Since MRI does not use ionizing radiation, by performing MRI studies for exams that were previously routinely imaged by CT, St. Elizabeth Healthcare is able to limit exposure to radiation. This results in a decreased lifetime cumulative radiation dosage.

We use the most current technology in all aspects of imaging.

  • MRI Enterography is one of our newest studies. The exam is performed for evaluation for Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel disease. This exam is an alternative to having multiple CT Scan exams.

  • St. Elizabeth Healthcare Imaging – Alexandria has a large 70 cm bore MRI machine that can accommodate claustrophobic patients and patients of all sizes.

  • Beginning in mid-2014 we will be offering Cardiac imaging at the St. Elizabeth Edgewood, making us the first in NKY to offer this type of service. This scanner will also be a large 70 cm bore MRI machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is similar to MRI and provides your radiologist with a detailed 3-D analysis of your vascular system and major blood vessels.

No. The technician will have you lay in the most comfortable position possible. Since MRI is “non-invasive”, the exam is painless. However, if your doctor requests a contrast agent, you may receive a simple shot prior to or during the exam.

No. MRI uses a powerful magnet in conjunction with radiofrequency waves to generate images of your internal organs and structures. There is no ionizing (X-Ray) radiation.

Typically, an MRI exam can last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. However, this can vary based on which area of your body is being studied. It is always best to allow extra time in case the exam lasts longer than expected.

Yes. Certain metallic items such as pacemakers, aneurysm clips, neurostimulators and shrapnel cannot be safely scanned in the MRI environment. Any patients who have an injury to the eye with metal, surgical pins, plates or other type of metal implants should contact the testing facility in advance to confirm you are safe to scan.

All patients will also be required to provide a health history upon arrival explaining any metallic implants you may have.

If you are unsure if something is safe to scan or not, always ask. A trained Technologist or Radiologist will follow safety guidelines to determine if a particular metal implant is approved to be in an MR environment.

Patient Rights

American College of Radiology

You have the right to submit comments regarding this facility’s radiology imaging and treatment services.

Submit your comments in writing and send to the facility or to the following address:

American College of Radiology
Attn: Accreditation Program Patient Comments
1891 Preston White Dr.
Reston, VA 20191-4326

Office of Inspector General

To contact the Office of the Inspector General regarding Medicare or Medicaid services, please call: 1 (800) HHS-TIPS (447-8477).