Magnetic resonance imaging - MRI

What is magnetic resonance imaging?

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a completely painless examination. Unlike scanner which uses X-rays, the images obtained by magnetic resonance result from the interaction between the natural magnetism of the body and that of the machine (which contains large magnets).

What is magnetic resonance imaging used for?

MRI produces "sliced" images of the body.


MRI lasts about 30 minutes during which you must not move.

How to prepare for it?

In most cases, no specific preparation is necessary. You do not need to fast. You can eat and drink normally. For some specific exams as well as for any exam requiring anesthesia, you will have to fast 6 hours before the exam.


- remove any metallic object (dentures, glasses, piercing, jewelry, bra, hair clip, etc.).

- inform of any metallic implant in your body: prosthesis, staples, pacemaker, metallic heart valve, etc.

- disclose any pregnancy.

- mention any kidney function problem.

You will be asked to undress in a dedicated cabin and to put on a hospital gown and pants. The cabin is locked with a key that will remain in the MRI room throughout the examination.


You will be comfortably installed on the machine table by a health professional.

MRI is a quite noisy examination. You will therefore be offered to put a headset on your ears.

MRI takes a long time. You will have to remain motionless for about half an hour.

If you are anxious or claustrophobic, you can use a call button to contact the team, which will be able to see and hear you via microphone and camera.

A contrast agent may be injected for an MRI, either in the cabin or during the examination.

You will always be informed of the time of the injection.

The injected product (gadolinium) does not induce a heat effect like some scanner products.

What happens after the procedure?

You get dressed. The images will be analyzed by the radiologist and the report will be sent to the prescribing physician as soon as possible.


MRI is strictly forbidden if the patient is wearing certain metallic objects (cochlear implant, etc.) or a cardiac pacemaker.

MRI is also likely to disrupt a shunt for hydrocephalus.

The return home

There are no special precautions to follow when returning home after an MRI.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Consultation Secretariat

+32 2 764 29 25
Floor: -2 Road: 506