MRI Screening Information (Including Sedation and Anesthesia Information)

Prior to the Exam

To avoid cancellation of your exam:

  • Your child should remove any and all:
    • Jewelry
    • Piercings
    • Glitter objects
    • Magnetic lashes
    • Heavy makeup
    • Nail art
    • Hair extensions
    • Beading
    • Hair gel or glitter
    • Body gel or glitter
  • Follow our food and drink restrictions.
    • Nothing solid by mouth from 8 hours before the day of exam time.
    • We will call you the day before the exam and provide more details concerning our food and drink restrictions.
  • Call and report any cold or virus symptoms such as:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Runny nose
    • Vomiting

It is very important to follow these guidelines to ensure your exam is not cancelled. To report any illnesses or ask any questions, call 412-692-9524.

Please alert us of any special needs or accommodations at your earliest convenience. We attempt to provide aid and support for anxiety, emotional, and developmental issues.

Getting Here

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children's Hospital Drive
4401 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Get directions to UPMC Children's Hospital »

  • Please allow yourself extra travel time as traffic patterns are subject to change.
  • Parking is available on-campus for all patients and families in the Mid-Campus and Penn Garages.
  • Parking is not validated.
  • Valet Service is available. Rates are the same as those for families who choose to self-park.
  • Take the grape elevators to the second floor of the main hospital and follow the signs to Radiology.

Checking In

  • The greeter will assist you to the reception and waiting areas of the Pediatric Radiology Department.
  • Tell the greeter if you are for anesthesia or sedation to process your registration as quickly as possible.
  • Your visit can be lengthy, so be prepared for childcare and school pick-up for other children in your care if you are delayed in our department.
  • It is very important that we are made aware of special needs or accommodations at your earliest convenience. We attempt to provide aid and support for anxiety, emotional, and developmental issues.

Preparing for the Exam

For Your Child’s Safety

  • You and/or your child may be asked to change out of your regular clothing into hospital clothing, including undergarments.
  • Please inform us of any:
    • Implants, devices, or appliances that are on or in your child.
    • Dental appliances, coils, springs, or devices that may be in place.
    • Implantable devices, shunts, VNSs, or medication patches or pumps.
    • Allergies to contrast.
    • Significant issues with medications.
  • Your child will be screened for any safety risks the day of the exam including illness or signs and symptoms of a cold or virus.
  • Females of menstruation age may be asked to provide a urine sample the day of exam.
  • The sedation or anesthesiologist will determine the safety of the use of sedation or anesthesia.
  • The radiologist will determine if the exam will take place if there are any identified risks involved.

The Exam

  • Your exam is expected to start after your arrival within 1 to 1 and a half hours. This allows time for preparation. 
  • Please be on time to ensure we stay on schedule for you and the rest of our patients.
  • Each MRI exam varies in length. The radiologist chooses a protocol that is customized to your child’s needs and diagnosis.
    • A protocol is based on size, indication for exam, and body part or parts being imaged.
  • We will keep you informed of delays.
  • We are concerned for your comfort and privacy and appreciate any feedback about your experience to improve.
  • We will plan to see you the day of your exam and provide the appropriate pre- and post-care information.

If you have any questions or concerns, call 412-692-9524.