Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for Pediatrics

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of your child’s head and body. These detailed images are used to diagnose a wide range of conditions. At the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Pediatric Radiology Department, the extensive MRI experience of our board-certified, fellowship-trained experts in pediatric radiology and pediatric neuroradiology helps to ensure that MRI is properly utilized, planned and protocolled for greatest efficiency in diagnosis and the resulting images are properly interpreted for your child’s physician.

While an X-ray is very good at showing bones, an MRI lets the radiologist see structures made of soft tissue, such as ligaments and cartilage and organs such as your child’s eyes, brain and heart.

MRI can be used to view:

  • Abdomen and pelvis including organs and the gastrointestinal track
  • Arteries and veins
  • Bones and joints
  • Heart
  • Head, neck and spine

At the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, we have three dedicated pediatric MRI units. These state-of-the-art MRI machines are each equipped with features to help make the exam more comfortable for patients. These features include:

  • a wide open 70cm bore that maximizes the open space feeling while in the scanner
  • an entertainment system that allows patients to view movies or pictures as they are scanned
  • themed rooms – a Treehouse, a Submarine and a Sand Castle

An MRI exam is painless. Your child won’t feel the magnetic field or radio waves. MRI machines consist of a large magnet shaped like a tunnel. Your child lies on a table that slides into the tunnel. A computer creates a composite, three-dimensional representation of your child’s body. Two-dimensional images are then created and displayed on a monitor for viewing and analysis.

MRI examinations typically take more time than other radiology examinations.  Average study length is about one hour. Providing proper imaging for a young child can be thus challenging. We work closely with the Pediatric Anesthesia Department staff, who provide sedation or general anesthesia to help young children stay still for the duration of the MRI study. Older children and teens are usually able to hold still for the imaging. Some children are afraid to be separated from their parents during the test while others are nervous and fidget when they need to be still. Our experienced and compassionate staff understands how to work with children and put them at ease.

For more information, visit the MRI page on our Virtual Tour.

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, please call 734-936-4500.