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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

MRI Scans and Radiation

By September 8, 2009

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There have been several stories in the news lately about people being exposed to high levels of radiation during certain types of tests, usually CT scans have the finger pointed at them for the most radiation exposure. The problem with these scans is not just the higher levels of radiation (up to 200 times that of a typical X-ray), but the fact that many people are getting them when they have no symptoms of anything. The most famous culprit is the full-body CT scan, which many people (including some of my family members) like to get for "peace of mind," even though the doc has said that they are perfectly healthy.

This led me to wonder about MRIs and radiation (or anything else potentially nasty from MRIs). Don't want to spoil the punchline to my article, but looks like there is nothing to worry about from MRIs, unless you have an allergy to gadolinium or a kidney problem that could be exacerbated by gadolinium exposure. No radiation is emitted during an MRI scan. Of course, MRIs aren't very fun for people with claustrophobia, either. And, they can be expensive. However, they are pretty much benign tests, so don't worry about any negative health effects when you climb in "the tube."

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Comments
September 9, 2009 at 1:56 am
(1) Daniel K says:

I’ve always found the noise of the MRI machine passes, the industrial thrum, thrum, thrum, eee, eee, eee, dede, dede, dede, mesmerizing.

There’s got to be a band out there call MRI that was inspired by the “music” they make.

And of course you can bring your own to listen to if you like. I tend to pick something loud so it can be heard over the din.

December 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm
(2) opinomaragret says:

must look at this at my estore suprisely

September 13, 2012 at 2:28 am
(3) Rajalakshmi Karanth says:

I got a couple of MRIs done at different times. First time, I did not know much and went thru the process. Of course I did not enjoy ! Second time when I was advised for MRI, I was not only scared but was very reluctant – all because of the sound – “loud band” . IT was something like somebody hitting on my head with all sorts of instruments. Even to recollect, its scary. I dont know if I am the only one who experienced this. I only wish somebody, someday would invent a “sound-proof MRI machines’ !!

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