How long does MRI take?

Hi everyone

I’m due to have a MRI of neck and spine in a few weeks, and wonder if anyone who has had this before could give me any idea how long the scan will take?

I’m assuming the neck and spine will be done all in one scan?

Also, does anyone know if these are normally done with or without the dye??

Sorry for all the questions, but would just like to be as prepared as possible.

Hey purple. I had head/neck MRI done (without dye) and it took about 40 minutes. It was fine - I’d been panicking but wore an eye mask and took a cd to listen to. That with a very low dose diazepam did the trick! Are you worrying about it?

Hi I’ve had a few and normally last around 30-40 minutes. I’ve had some with and without dye. Normally if they are doing it with the dye they scan you without the dye first get some images then they come in and insert the dye to get some images with that. I think the dye helps to indicate if there is any current activity going on at the time of scan. When I’ve had my scans I just lie with my eye closed and get them to put some music on. Theyve have told me during it how long each scan will last 2mins, 5 mins etc I find that helps me so it doesn’t feel that long. Hope it’s goes well as I was nervous the first time but honestly the staff were lovely they keep checking with me throughout it. Polly x

Hi, purpledot i had a head and spine MRI it only took about 30mins. I had to have the head scan done first then i was taken out and a few bits changed on the bed then back in for my spine. Like everyone says just listen to the music with ure eyes closed. The staff will talk to you all the time and you will have a little button u can press if u need to talk to the staff or if u want out. Hope it all goes well for you Bean x

Mine also took about 30/40minutes. If contrast is going to be used, that would be in your letter. I spent more time, sitting around, waiting to go in :slight_smile: They supplied me with earplugs, to help reduce noise, with music. I kept my eyes closed all through the scan, because I don’t like closed in places. Take care :slight_smile:

I’ve got my head and spine MRI coming up, this will be the second time. Like the others have said just relax and rest for about 30 mins. You’ll be fine Take care Gray x

Hi like the rest about 30 mins and rest with your eyes shut, i often go to sleep lol. Take care

Hello there,

I had an MRI scan of my brain and cervical spine (top of spine) a few weeks ago. It was done with contrast dye (gladolinium) and took around 50 minutes.

I had a canula inserted into my arm beforehand. They scanned my brain and spine and then after 30 minutes injected the contrast dye via the canula and scanned my brain and spine again. The MRI helps to identify any lesions which may be causing symptoms, and the contrast dye helps them to see whether those lesions are currently inflammed (‘active’). On the scan image results lesions are denoted as small white blotches and inflammation is denoted by a fuzzy white line surrounding any lesions.

My MRI was one of the first tests I had to investiage possible MS, so if this is the case for you and you currently have symptoms I would imagine they would request that your scan be done with contrast dye so they can check for inflammation and cover all bases. Though I understand procedures vary depending on your location. Your appointment letter should state whether or not the scan will be done with contrast dye.

The machine is very loud and the tight space takes a little ‘mind of matter’ to deal with but all in all the experience isn’t too bad. I would recommend taking a CD along with you as others have mentioned. Listening to music blocks out the sounds of the machine (although not entirely!) and helps take you to another place. I didn’t bring a CD with me and was offered the radio. When aksed what type of music I wanted I said “something relaxing”, the radiologist must have had a different interpretation of what relaxing is as he put on Magic FM playing the latest palpitation inducing pop music!

Hope all goes well for you.

Thanks everyone for your replies.

I have actually had a MRI of the head before, so am familiar with the procedure up to a point. I was just wondering how long this one will take as the head one was quite short (about 15-20 minutes).

The appointment letter doesn’t mention anything about the contrast dye, so I’m assuming it is without.

Thanks again for all your advice and support.

The letter I got a couple of days ago for another MRI of spine & head says will include contrast dye Gray