Loving Kiss From A Big Brother

Child and Adolescent Health Service

Services A – Z


Princess Margaret Hospital

Diagnostic Imaging

The MRI scanner was commissioned in August 2003. Over 2000 patients are scanned per annum. The scanner is a near state-of-the-art 1.5 Tesla Siemens Magnetom Sonata. We offer a full range of MRI services including neuro, musculo-skeletal, pelvic, abdominal and cardiac MRI. Our dedicated team specialise in paediatric MRI. Image of MRI Scanning Room - Click to Enlarge

MRI uses a magnet, not radiation so it is safe unless your child has a contra-indicated device. These are listed under patient preparation. The scanner is quite noisy so the patient can listen to a CD or in some cases, watch a DVD. The scans can take up to an hour and we do occasionally use an intravenous contrast. The patient is required to lie very still during the examination.

Younger children require general anaesthesia for their scans. We have seven GA sessions per fortnight so there is a small waiting list.

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To Make a Booking

All patients are requested to arrive 15 minutes prior to the scan time. Late arrival may result in the scan being cancelled.

  • All MRI scans require a booking.
  • Bookings cannot be made without an MRI request form signed by a consultant.
  • All urgent requests are to be discussed with the duty MRI radiologist by the team consultant.
  • All patients undergoing MRI need to fill out an MRI checklist that is signed by the parents.

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Patient Preperation

It may not be safe to scan your child if they have:

  • a cardiac pacemaker or artificial heart valve
  • intracranial aneurysm clips
  • cochlear implants
  • magnetic or electrical devices

Please contact us if the patient has one of the above.

  • Most patients will not require preparation but some studies do require fasting. Fasting instructions will be forwarded when required.
  • An intravenous contrast agent is often used. We request those patients requiring contrast to arrive 45 minutes early for topical emla cream.

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The unit is staffed daily by two accredited MRI technologists. There are four sessional MRI radiologists, each sub-specialising in different areas of MRI imaging. We have a full time receptionist who handles all the MRI bookings and enquiries.

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The MRI uses an extremely strong magnetic field for imaging. Metal can be pulled into the magnet. Safety and patient care are paramount. We request patience from parents and referring staff where delays may be met while safety aspects are checked.

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