Medical Specialties

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs) at Phoenix Children's Hospital

At Phoenix Children's, your child’s safety is our number ONE concern so we embace the concept of "Image Gently". This means we implement specialized pediatric protocols and use shielding techniques to reduce radiation exposure to areas of the body that are not being directly imaged.  

What is a MRI?

An MRI is a way to take flat or 3-D pictures of the body using a large magnet, radiowaves, and a computer. However, the MRI is not an x-ray and no side effects have been reported from being in the magnetic field. 

The MRI scanner is a large magnet with a circle-shaped opening - some say it looks like a tunnel. There is a table that moves into the opening of the scanner during the test and the patient may hear a series of very loud noises such as hums, knocks, beeps, and clicks. These are normal sounds of the scanner. 

MR imaging of the body is performed to evaluate potential problems with the:

  • head, brain and/or spine
  • organs of the chest and abdomen - including the heart, liver, biliary tract, kidneys, spleen, bowel, pancreas and adrenal glands.
  • pelvic reproductive organs - in the male (prostate and testicles) and the female (uterus, cervix and ovaries).
  • shoulder
  • knees, joints, and feet 
  • musculoskeletal system

The technologist will be able to talk with your child and tell him when the noises will occur and how long the sounds will last. Parents are welcome in the scan room if the child is awake.  Important:  All metal and magnetic objects must be kept outside the room.  The scanner does not touch or hurt the patient; however, if an IV is required for contrast (a dye given to enhance the pictures), minimal pain may occur during IV insertion.

What to Expect - Before You Arrive

When you arrive to the Imaging Department, sign your child name in at the registration desk located on the first floor of the Main Building, across from the Gift Shop.  When your child's name is called, our staff will complete the proper paperwork with you.

Review our helpful tips on what to expect before you arrive.  Please review and complete these forms before your appointment:

Note:  Be sure to bring any related documentation such as physician notes and prior images to your child’s appointment.

Contact us:

For more information or to make a referral, please call (602) 933-1213. 

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