MRI of the Abdomen (Kidneys/Adrenal Glands/Liver/Pancreas/MRCP)

What is a MRI of the Abdomen and what does it do?

This test may be used to diagnose or evaluate:

  • Cancer, tumors, cysts and/or masses.
  • Blood flow in the abdomen
  • Blood vessels in the abdomen
  • The cause of abdominal pain or swelling
  • The cause of abnormal blood test results, such as liver or kidney problems
  • Lymph nodes in the abdomen
  • Visualization of gallbladder, biliary and pancreatic ducts

MRI can distinguish tumors from normal tissues and can help the doctor determine the tumor’s size, severity, and spread.

(MRCP) Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography is a medical imaging technique that uses magnetic resonance imaging to visualize the biliary and pancreatic ducts in a non-invasive manner. This procedure can be used to determine if gallstones are lodged in any of the ducts surrounding the gallbladder.

Who performs the test?

The exam is performed by a Radiologic Technologist RT (R). These technologists are nationally registered with the A.R.R.T. (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) and licensed through the state of Florida in the use of diagnostic equipment and procedures. Also, the technologist performing your MRI procedure has additional MRI specific training.

Where does it take place?

MRI scans are performed at Jackson Hospital in the radiology department.

How long does it take?

Average person takes 30 minutes to an hour.

What you can do to make it a success?

Because the MRI machine is a very strong magnet, it is important to let your doctor know if you have any of the following:


  • Pacemaker   
  • Defibrillator
  • Aneurysm Clips
  • Stents
  • Any other metallic or electronic implant
  • If you have a card that explains the type of implant/prosthesis that you have, please bring it with you on the day of your test.
  • If you are pregnant, let your doctor know.


It is helpful to wear clothing with no metal or embellishments on them. Also, please do not wear jewelry or hair accessories of any kind as these will have to be removed before entering the MRI scan room.

 You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for better imaging.

A locker for your clothing and belongings will be provided.

What to do before your exam?

You must be NPO (nothing to eat or drink) for at least 8 hours prior to having an abdominal MRI.  You may take your medications with only a few sips of water. 

What happens during your exam?

You will lie down on the MRI table.

Depending on which body part is to be imaged; a device called a “coil” may be placed around the body part.

The MRI machine is quite loud so you will be given headphones to listen to the radio or a CD if you bring one. Or, if you prefer, earplugs can be provided instead.

You will then be positioned inside the MRI scanner. Once the scan starts, it is very important that you remain completely still as motion will cause the images to be blurry and non-diagnostic. Blurry images will have to be repeated which will lengthen your exam time.

If your test is ordered “with contrast”, you will have an IV started in which the technologist will inject the contrast through during that portion of the study.

What to do after your exam?

The Radiologist will review your exam and relay his findings to your physician. This usually takes 1-2 days. In the case of an emergency or life threatening results, you physician will be contacted right away and you will probably be asked to stay with us until he or she is spoken with.

Unless you have other tests scheduled, you may resume your previous diet if you were following special diet instructions.

Contact Information:

Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200
MRI Department: (850) 718-2589
Radiology Department: (850) 718-2580

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