Elliot Hospital | Diagnostic Imaging (2023)

Central Scheduling Phone: 603-663-2180

MRCP (Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography)

Elliot Hospital | Diagnostic Imaging (1)If you have been booked for an MRCP you will be asked to arrive at the MRI department 15 minutes prior to your appointment time. It is necessary to abstain from having anything to eat or drink for 6 Hours prior to your MRCP. The MRCP technique is done by using the MRI machine and a coil (camera) to obtain images of your abdomen and biliary structures. The majority of MRCP exams DO NOT require a contrast agent. Occasionally if the MRCP is to be done in additional to an MRI Abdomen with and without contrast we will be using a contrast agent called Gadavist.

MRI Safe clothing will be provided for you to wear. You will be asked to lie on your back onto an MRI coil (camera) and an additional coil will be placed over your abdomen acting as an antenna. You will be given ear plugs or headphones (Both if you are scanned at River’s Edge location) to protect your hearing as the MRI machine makes a very loud noise.During the scanning portion of the MRI you will be given instructions to hold your breath. The Technologist will be in constant contact to help guide you through the exam and instruct you of when to hold your breath and when to breathe.After your MRCP is done you are able to resume normal daily activities without restrictions.


What can a CT scan show that an MRI Cannot? ›

A CT scan is better for showing bone and joint issues, blood clots, and some organ injuries, while an MRI is better for inflammation, torn ligaments, nerve and spinal problems, and soft tissues. Beyond accuracy, patient comfort is also a variable your doctor will keep in mind. MRI and CT scan machinery are different.

Which medical imaging is the best? ›

Advantages of MRIs

Magnetic resonance imaging produces clearer images compared to a CT scan. In instances when doctors need a view of soft tissues, an MRI is a better option than x-rays or CTs. MRIs can create better pictures of organs and soft tissues, such as torn ligaments and herniated discs, compared to CT images.

What does imaging do in a hospital? ›

Medical imaging refers to several different technologies that are used to view the human body in order to diagnose, monitor, or treat medical conditions.

What does a CT scan do vs MRI? ›

CT scans take a fast series of X-ray pictures, which are put together to create images of the area that was scanned. An MRI uses strong magnetic fields to take pictures of the inside of the body. CT scans are usually the first choice for imaging. MRIs are useful for certain diseases that a CT scan cannot detect.

Why would a doctor order a CT instead of an MRI? ›

A CT scan may be recommended if a patient can't have an MRI. People with metal implants, pacemakers or other implanted devices shouldn't have an MRI due to the powerful magnet inside the machine. CT scans create images of bones and soft tissues.

What not to do before an MRI? ›

Since the MRI machines are magnets, it is best to not apply deodorants, antiperspirants, perfumes, or body lotions before the examination. These items contain metals that might interfere with the magnetic field inside the MRI machine and cause you to have distorted images and wrong results.

What imaging is better than an MRI? ›

Both MRIs and CT scans can view internal body structures. However, a CT scan is faster and can provide pictures of tissues, organs, and skeletal structure. An MRI is highly adept at capturing images that help doctors determine if there are abnormal tissues within the body.

How much does an MRI cost? ›

The average cost of an MRI can range anywhere from $400 to $12,000, depending on the place of service, health insurance, location, extra medications, the provider, and body part scanned. Health insurance typically covers authorized MRIs.

What is the safest medical imaging? ›

Ultrasound uses sound waves transmitted through the skin to create images. Ultrasound is the safest known medical imaging modality and can be used by nearly every patient with little to no risk. Ultrasound is safe for even unborn fetuses and those who cannot use other modalities.

What is the difference between radiology and imaging? ›

Practitioners of radiology are called radiologists, and they utilize imaging technology in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Medical imaging is a technology which is used by radiologists, particularly for diagnostic purposes.

What can be diagnosed by medical imaging? ›

Radiology for detecting diseases and conditions
  • Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
  • Anemia.
  • Appendicitis.
  • Arthritis and osteoporosis.
  • Blood clots and peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Brain tumors.
  • Many types of cancers.
  • Pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

What are the 5 types of medical imaging exams? ›

Learn more about our five most common modalities for our various types of imaging tests: X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, and PET.

How long does an MRI take? ›

How long does an MRI scan take? A single scan may take a few seconds or 3 to 8 minutes. You may be asked to hold your breath during short scans. The total scan lasts 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the area being scanned and how many images are needed.

Will a radiologist tell you if something is wrong? ›

“They aren't doctors, and while they do know how to get around your anatomy, they aren't qualified to diagnose you.” That is true even though the tech likely knows the answer to your question. Imaging techs administer thousands of scans a year.

What are the side effects of MRI? ›

The magnetic fields that change with time create loud knocking noises which may harm hearing if adequate ear protection is not used. They may also cause peripheral muscle or nerve stimulation that may feel like a twitching sensation. The radiofrequency energy used during the MRI scan could lead to heating of the body.

What does not show up on a CT scan? ›

In a CT scan, dense substances like bones are easy to see. But soft tissues don't show up as well. They may look faint in the image. To help them appear clearly, you may need a special dye called a contrast material.

What is the most common reason for a CT scan? ›

Chronic back pain or an injury to the spine are among the most common reasons to have a CT scan. A doctor may also order a spinal CT scan to: Evaluate spinal fractures. Assess the condition of the spine before and after surgical procedures.

How many CT scans can you have in a year? ›

There is no recommended limit on how many computed tomography (CT) scans you can have. CT scans provide critical information. When a severely ill patient has undergone several CT exams, the exams were important for diagnosis and treatment.

Can you open your eyes during MRI? ›

Keep your eyes closed or even wear a blindfold.

It's much easier in an open MRI it's wider than a standard scanner, so patients shouldn't feel any walls touching them.

Do you have to take your clothes off for an MRI? ›

It's important that patients remove all clothing prior to their MRI exam. We ask patients to remove: All outer clothing, including shoes. Bras or any undergarment that could have metal in it.

Can I brush my teeth before an MRI? ›

The Morning of Your MRI

You will not be able to have breakfast the morning of your surgery. You can brush your teeth in the morning, just be sure to spit the water out!

What test can detect a torn muscle? ›

An MRI is the best type of imaging for looking at tissue. Your physician may order an MRI on the damaged muscle to find or learn more about your injury. This type of muscle tear imaging can pinpoint the location of even the smallest muscle strains and determine whether a partial or complete strain has occurred.

Which is better for back pain MRI or CT scan? ›

MRI for Back Pain. Like x-rays, CT scans are usually quicker than MRIs. CT scans are the preferred tool for diagnosing severe injuries that need immediate attention, and they are also helpful in locating tumors. Typically, CT scans are better at scanning bone images than MRIs.

When should I order a CT or MRI? ›

Purpose: MRI scans are great for creating very detailed 3D images of soft tissues, tendons, ligaments, your spinal cord and your brain. CT scans are better suited for imaging injuries from trauma, staging cancer, and diagnosing conditions in blood vessels.

Does insurance cover MRI? ›

Yes. Most diagnostic tests are covered by health insurance plans, including the cost of tests like X-rays, blood tests, MRIs and so on.

How much is an MRI with insurance? ›

The average cost for an MRI in the U.S. is a little over $1,300. Patients without insurance or whose insurance comes with a high deductible can expect to pay up to $5,000. Even with insurance, MRIs typically run between $500 and $1,000.

Does Medicare pay for an MRI? ›

Medicare typically covers MRI scans when your doctor determines that it's medically required to reach a diagnosis. MRI scans are classified as “ diagnostic non-laboratory tests ” under Medicare Part B.

What scan gives most radiation? ›

Higher radiation–dose imaging

Most of the increased exposure in the United States is due to CT scanning and nuclear imaging, which require larger radiation doses than traditional x-rays. A chest x-ray, for example, delivers 0.1 mSv, while a chest CT delivers 7 mSv (see the table) — 70 times as much.

Which CT scan has the most radiation? ›

Radiation Doses for Common CT Scans

Colonography: 6 mSv, equal to about 2 years of background radiation. Head: 2 mSv, equal to about 8 months of background radiation. Spine: 6 mSv, equal to about 2 years of background radiation. Chest: 7 mSv, equal to about 2 years of background radiation.

How many CT scans can you have in a lifetime? ›

There is no recommended limit on how many computed tomography (CT) scans you can have. CT scans provide critical information. When a severely ill patient has undergone several CT exams, the exams were important for diagnosis and treatment.

Is ultrasound or radiology better? ›

As you can see, the biggest difference between radiology and sonography is the type of medical equipment you'll use. Plus, while an x-ray can diagnose a wide range of medical conditions, ultrasound focuses more on specific body parts and their health.

Can you have an MRI and CT scan on the same day? ›

This question was addressed on the RSNA site and there is no issue doing both MRI and CT the same day with Gadolinium and Iodinated Contrast.

What is ultrasound vs MRI? ›

MRI versus Ultrasound

MRIs rely on magnets to produce 3D images of the inner structures of the body. It can highlight tissue changes in the body that indicate an injury. An ultrasound, on the other hand, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the body's inner organs and structures.

What is the most common imaging test? ›

1. X-rays. The most common diagnostic imaging exam performed in medical facilities is the X-ray, which is a broad term that also covers numerous sub-categories.

What is the most useful type of imaging diagnosis? ›

X-rays. X-rays are among the most commonly used and well-known diagnostic imaging tests. Doctors use them to view the inside of the body.

Can imaging show infection? ›

Imaging studies are frequently used to support the diagnosis of infection in acutely ill patients. Structural imaging studies include plain radiography, ultrasound, CT, and MRI. These methods can establish the presence of abnormal tissue or fluid collections that often accompany bacterial infection.

Can a radiologist tell if a mass is cancerous? ›

Can a Radiologist See Breast Cancer from a Mammogram, Ultrasound, or MRI? While breast imaging techniques can find suspicious areas in your breast that may be cancer, they can't tell for sure if cancer is present. A breast biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of cancer.

What imaging shows tumors? ›

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

The doctor uses a CT scan to take images of the inside of your body from various angles using x-rays. Then, a computer combines the pictures into a three-dimensional, detailed image to reveal any tumors or abnormalities.

How do I prepare for imaging? ›

The patient should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the imaging study, no caffeine for 12 hours prior to the study. If the study is performed on 2 separate days, then the patient should allow for 2 hours on the first day and 1 hour on the second day for this examination.

Can I drive myself after an MRI? ›

After the Examination

They can also drive you home if you have sedative medicine during the examination. If you do take sedative medication, you cannot drive yourself. Ask your caregiver if you want a family member to remain with you during the examination.

Do I need someone to drive me home after a MRI? ›

Once your MRI scan is complete, you'll be escorted back to the changing area to retrieve your belongings. If your doctor gave you any medication or sedation, DO NOT attempt to drive yourself home. Make sure you have someone who can get you home.

Do you get MRI results immediately? ›

After your MRI scan, a radiologist will analyze the images. The radiologist will send a signed report to your primary healthcare provider, who will share the results with you. The report is usually ready for your healthcare provider within one or two days. You may need a follow-up exam.

How long should you wait for scan results? ›

After analysing the images, the radiologist will write a report and send it to the doctor who referred you for the scan so they can discuss the results with you. This normally takes a few days or weeks.

How often is a radiologist wrong? ›

Research shows that radiologists misdiagnose patients' conditions at least 36% of the time. This is 24% more often than what occurs in any other environment.

How long does it take a radiologist to read a report? ›

A: Your exam will usually be read the same day and the report will be sent to your physician as soon as possible after the radiologist has completed his or her interpretation. If requested by your physician, or if there is an urgent finding, a report will be called in to your physician the same day the exam is read.

What should you not do before an MRI? ›

Since the MRI machines are magnets, it is best to not apply deodorants, antiperspirants, perfumes, or body lotions before the examination. These items contain metals that might interfere with the magnetic field inside the MRI machine and cause you to have distorted images and wrong results.

Why can't I drink water before an MRI? ›

If You Have an Overactive Bladder

This feeling of urgency can make it harder to hold urine in. While you may still experience this urgency to a degree, not drinking for several hours before your procedure can make you less likely to experience incontinence during the scan.

What are two major disadvantages of MRI scans? ›

Drawbacks of MRI scans include their much higher cost, and patient discomfort with the procedure. The MRI scanner subjects the patient to such powerful electromagnets that the scan room must be shielded.

What Cannot be seen on a CT scan? ›

In a CT scan, dense substances like bones are easy to see. But soft tissues don't show up as well. They may look faint in the image. To help them appear clearly, you may need a special dye called a contrast material.

Can you see a meniscus tear on a CT scan? ›

CT arthrography with multiplanar reconstructions can detect meniscus tears that are not visible on MRI. This technique is also useful in case of MRI contraindications, in postoperative assessment of meniscal sutures and the condition of cartilage covering the articular surfaces.

Can a CT scan detect a torn rotator cuff? ›

CT rapidly creates detailed pictures of the shoulder. The test may help diagnose or detect: A dislocation, fracture, or other shoulder injury. Soft tissue problems such as damage to the rotator cuff tendons.

Do all tumors show up on CT scans? ›

A CT scan can show whether you have a tumor—and, if you do, where it's located and how big it is. CT scans can also show the blood vessels that are feeding the tumor. Your care team may use these images to see whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, such as the lungs or liver.

Why CT scan is not recommended? ›

The low doses of radiation used in CT scans have not been shown to cause long-term harm, although at much higher doses, there may be a small increase in your potential risk of cancer. CT scans have many benefits that outweigh any small potential risk.

What cancers can CT scan See? ›

What Types of Cancers Can a CT Scan Detect?
  • Bladder cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer, especially if it's located further up in the intestines or bowel.
  • Kidney cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer.
  • Stomach cancer.
Aug 19, 2020

What are 2 signs and symptoms of a meniscus tear? ›

Symptoms and signs of a meniscus tear:
  • A popping sensation when the injury occurs.
  • Swelling or stiffness.
  • Pain, especially when twisting or rotating the knee.
  • Difficulty fully straightening the knee.
  • "Locked" feeling when trying to move the knee.

What test confirms a torn meniscus? ›

MRI . This uses a strong magnetic field to produce detailed images of both hard and soft tissues within your knee. It's the best imaging study to detect a torn meniscus.

Can you tell if a meniscus is torn without an MRI? ›

You will have a physical examination to find out if you have a torn meniscus and to rule out other knee injuries. Your doctor will check both knees for tenderness, range of motion, and knee stability. X-rays are usually done. Based on your symptoms and the physical examination, your doctor may diagnose a meniscus tear.

What are 2 warning signs of a rotator cuff tear? ›

  • Be described as a dull ache deep in the shoulder.
  • Disturb sleep.
  • Make it difficult to comb your hair or reach behind your back.
  • Be accompanied by arm weakness.
May 18, 2022

Does a torn rotator cuff hurt all the time? ›

Rotator cuff tendon tears often cause pain at night. The pain may even wake you. During the day, the pain is more tolerable, and usually only hurts with certain movements, such as overhead or reaching toward the back. Over time, the symptoms become much worse and are not relieved by medicines, rest, or exercise.

What is the best test for rotator cuff tear? ›

The drop arm test is used to assess for full thickness rotator cuff tears, particularly of the supraspinatus. This can be useful when diagnosing sub-acromial pain syndrome (shoulder impingment) or to differentiate between shoulder and rotator cuff pathologies.

What are 2 risks of a CT scan? ›

Risks of CT Scan

Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects. If contrast dye is used, there is a risk for allergic reaction to the dye. Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications, contrast dye, iodine, or shellfish should notify their physician.

How long do you wait for results of CT scan? ›

Usually the radiologist will send a report to your GP or the doctor who referred you for the CT scan. It can take several days, or even a week or two, for your results to come through.


1. The Division of Diagnostic Imaging & Body CT
(Johns Hopkins Medicine)
2. Judy and Elliot Breast Health Center
(Elliot Health System)
3. Panc MD - Radiology
(Hopkins Kimmel)
4. Elliot Urgent Care in Bedford NH
(Elliot Health System)
5. Expert Series Elliot Fishman, MD: A Comprehensive Review of Body CT: 1-on-1 Tutorial - Video CME
(Educational Symposia)
6. Your Radiologist Explains: Virtual Colonoscopy


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