MRI / MRA
Welcome to the Riverhills Diagnostic Center. Our goal is to make your experience as worry-free as possible before, after, and during your examination. To schedule an appointment, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact a member of our staff at (513) 721-7226.
- HD Scanner with 1.5 Tesla Magnet
- Evening and weekend appointments
- Convenient on-site parking lot
- Patient transportation available
- On-site, board certified radiologists
- Insurance pre-authorization services
Riverhills Diagnostic Center
4805 Montgomery Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45212
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
Many “open” or low field scanners are advertised in the tri-state area don’t deliver the same clear image quality as closed, high field scanners, like the one used at Riverhills Diagnostic Center. Riverhills operates a Siemens 1.5 Tesla MAGNETOM® Aera MRI using the latest technology to provide faster, quieter, more comfortable MRI exams. The power of this high field scanner, combined with the comfort of its wide bore design, provides a more spacious feeling and quicker scan times.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) and Magnetic Resonance Venography (MRV):
These procedures utilize MRI technology to detect, diagnose and aid in the treatment of stroke and blood vessel diseases. The procedure is painless and images can sometimes be obtained without using any contrasting agent.
MRA/MRV scans use a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide detailed images of arteries & veins. These images are evaluated for stenosis (abnormal narrowing), aneurysms (vessel wall dilatations at risk of rupture), or venous thrombosis (the formation of a clot within a vessel).
Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI):
Diffusion MRI measures the diffusion of water molecules in biological tissues. DWI is highly sensitive to the changes that occur in many types of lesions/damage in the brain. DWI enhancement can appear within 5-10 minutes of the onset of stroke symptoms on an MRI scan and can remain for up to two weeks.
Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Mapping (ADC):
ADC Mapping is a functional tool applied to a Diffusion Weighted MR image to help differentiate MRI artifacts from real brain ischemic lesions/stroke. This function is a sensitive indicator for staging and determining what brain tissue is still potentially salvageable after an ischemic stroke.
“Open” or low field scanners don’t deliver the same clear image quality as closed, high field MRI scanners, like the one used at Riverhills Diagnostic Center. Open scanners usually only have about a .23 Tesla field strength. Riverhills operates a Siemens 1.5 Tesla MAGNETOM® Aera MRI using the most current technology.
Advantages of high field strength:
- High field scanners are faster and more powerful
- Images can be acquired 1½ – 2 times faster than an open machine
- Less patient motion due to shorter scan time
- More advanced imaging techniques are available than on open scanners
- Capability to image much smaller areas of interest with detail due to a stronger signal
- Easier to read scans provide more accurate diagnosis for patient
Wider Opening + Shorter Machine = Patient Comfort
Newer scanners, like the one used at Riverhills, are designed with a substantially shorter bore or “tube” than the older scanners to increase patient comfort and reduce their anxiety. The magnet is flared at the ends and wider than the older scanners reducing the “closed in” feeling. Riverhills’ scanner has been designed with superior ventilation and lighting systems, allowing more air and light to circulate while scanning.
Our MRI technologists and support staff are experienced in dealing with patients who may be nervous. Our staff can comfort and relax patients, talk them through the scan. Music can be listened to during a scan for relaxation purposes. Patients can even bring their own music.
Here is a list of questions frequently asked by our patients. If there is information you need which is not listed here, please feel free to contact us. We will do our very best to answer any question you may have at (513) 721-7226 (SCAN).
How do I prepare for the scan?
Follow your normal daily routine. You may eat, drink and take any medications that you normally use unless instructed by a Riverhills staff member. Most scans do not require any diet restrictions. Please do not wear any eye makeup for a head scan because it might contain metallic particles that could degrade the images. Please bring any previous x-rays, CT scans, nuclear scans or ultrasounds of the body part being examined so the doctors can compare them with the MRI. For more on preparing for your scan, please see Exam Prep section.
What clothing should I wear?
Wear loose, comfortable clothing. All Jewelry must be removed. Make sure they do not have metal zippers, snaps or clasps. You will be provided a locker where you can place your personal items. ATM and credit cards should also be placed in the locker as the MRI scanner will erase their magnetic codes.
How long is the exam?
Because MR examinations are tailored specifically to each patient, the scan time will depend on the amount of information your physician is seeking and the body part being scanned. The length of the test varies from 30 minutes to 1½ hours. When the exam is over, you may resume normal daily activities.
What can I expect once I arrive?
After filling out some registration paperwork a technologist will escort you to a comfortable padded table. Once you are situated, the table will slowly move into the center of the machine. Depending on the body part being examined, you will enter the magnet either head first or feet first. Once the machine is in operation, you will hear a knocking or thumping noise on and off throughout the procedure. Don’t be alarmed – the noises you are hearing are from the scanner taking pictures of you. These noises are very loud so you will be given ear plugs or earphones with music to help block the noise.
How will the test feel?
An MRI exam causes no pain. If you are very anxious or have difficulty lying still you may need a prescription for an oral sedative. Any movement during the scan can blur the MRI images. You may request a blanket or pillow if needed.
Will I receive an injection/shot?
Some MRI exams require the administration of a contrast agent named Gadolinium per the physician’s request. This contrast “dye” is utilized to give enhanced images to help the radiologist depict the differences in some tissues. Images are taken before and after the injection in order for the radiologist to view any changes that occur with the use of the Gadolinium.
What if I’m claustrophobic?
Riverhills Diagnostic Center utilizes a wide-bore MRI machine that is shorter in length than the older versions, therefore, more of your body will be outside of the machine during the scan. If you feel that the support and comfort of our staff will not be enough to get you through your MRI we recommend that you speak with your referring physician and have him/her prescribe an oral sedative to be taken prior to the exam. Please be sure to have someone with you to drive you home after the scan.
What are the risks?
There is no ionizing radiation involved in MRI and there have been no documented significant side effects of the magnetic fields and radio waves used on the human body to date. If you are pregnant please tell the technologist prior to the scan. The effects of a magnetic field on a fetus are still not well known. Your doctor may recommend postponing the exam or choose an alternative exam. If your scan requires an injection there is a very small risk of an allergic reaction. People have been harmed in MRI machines when they did not remove metal objects from their clothes or when metal objects have been carried into the room. Please review the checklist under Exam Prep prior to your exam.
Can I talk during the exam?
During your exam, the technologist will be in constant communication with you and can hear you at all times through a two-way intercom system. The technologist will check on you from time to time and update you on the progress of your scan.
When do I get my results?
Your images are interpreted within 24 hours by a radiologist who is specially trained in MR neuroradiology and/or musculoskeletal interpretation. These results will be sent to your physician who will notify you of the results.
Fees and insurance?
Most insurance policies cover MR examinations and they require approval before the exam. Please contact us at (513) 612-1111 or (800) 597-3071 (toll free) with any questions or concerns.
For an MRI you may follow your normal daily routine. You may eat, drink and take any medications that you normally use unless instructed by a Riverhills Diagnostics staff member. Most scans do not require any diet restrictions. Please do not wear any eye makeup for a head scan because it might contain metallic particles that could degrade the images. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that does not have metal zippers, snaps or clasps. All jewelry must be removed.
You can listen to your preferred music on the radio during your scan. You can even bring your own favorite music. While MR is a safe diagnostic tool, a powerful magnet is used. The magnet will attract metal objects if they are taken into the scan room. A locker will be provided for your personal items. ATM and credit cards should also be placed in the locker as the MRI scanner will erase their magnetic codes.
Review the checklist below. Tell your physician, or contact the center at (513) 721-7226 if you have any of the following:
Do you have any history of kidney/liver disease, failure, transplant, or dialysis?
If YES, you may need to have lab work completed to evaluate your kidney function before having an MRI that requires a contrast injection. Please call our MRI Center with any questions at (513) 721-7226.
Have you ever been a metal worker or had metal in the eye?
You may need to have an X-ray of your head before undergoing an MRI. This will check to see if there are any tiny slivers of metal in your eyes, which could move during the MRI and possibly damage your eye.
Are you pregnant or breast-feeding?
If you are pregnant please tell the technologist prior to the scan. The effects of a magnetic field on a fetus are still not well known. Your doctor may recommend postponing the exam or choose an alternative exam.
Please remember to bring the following items to your appointment!
- Any previous radiology test images/reports of the body part being examined (x-rays, CT/MRI/Nuclear scans, or ultrasounds)
- Any information cards relating to any metal implants
- Your insurance card(s)
Insurance contracts change often, therefore we have a Prior Authorization service that obtains the insurance approval for you.
To schedule your scan, please have your insurance information ready and call: (513) 612-1111
Please remember to bring your insurance card with you the date of your scan.
For billing or claims questions after your exam, call (513) 961-5558