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At Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of this test, and we invite you to participate. Please read the following information to learn about the scan and how you can help.
Magnetic resonance (REZ-oh-nentz) imaging, or MRI, is a test that uses powerful magnets, invisible radio waves, and a computer to scan the body and take clear, detailed pictures of organs and other structures.
You may want to bring along a “comfort” item—such as a favorite stuffed animal or “blankie”—for your child to hold during the scan.
Depending on what part of your child’s body is being scanned, there may be important instructions on things to do or not do the day before and the day of your child’s MRI scan. Please follow the specific instructions given to you by your doctor before the scan.
Your child's scan will be done by an MRI technologist who is specially trained to do MRI scans on children, and the results will be read by the radiology doctors at the Department of Radiology at Children’s Hospital.
In the scan room will be the MRI machine. You will see a long table that will slide into tube-shaped or tunnel-like scanner where the camera is located.
Prior to the test, your child will be screened for any metal inside or outside his or her body. If your child’s clothing contains metal, he or she may be asked to change into a hospital gown. You and your child will be able to safely keep any personal belongings that contain metal in a locker during the scan.
We welcome your help and support during this scan. One parent or guardian is invited to join your child in the exam room and scan room. Other adults and children must stay in the waiting area. If your child will be having sedation, you will be asked as the parent or legal guardian to sign a consent form before the sedation is given.
A pediatric radiology doctor will look at and interpret the MRI scan, and a report of your child’s scan will be sent to the doctor who ordered it, usually within 48 hours. If the results are urgent, the referring doctor will be contacted immediately.
If your child has any special needs or health issues you feel the doctor performing the scan needs to know about, please call the Department of Pediatric Radiology at Children’s before the test and ask to speak with a nurse. It is important to notify us in advance about any special needs.
Preparing your child beforehand, as well as comforting your child during the test, will help your child have a more positive experience. Sometimes it is difficult to know how to explain tests to children. If you have any questions about ways to prepare or support your child, or feel your child will have difficulty during the test, please call the Department of Pediatric Radiology at Children’s and ask to speak with the child life specialist.
Department of Pediatric Radiology
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
One Children’s Hospital Drive
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.