Movement During MRI

FREEZE! Hold still during your Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam.

Did you know that even the slightest movement during your exam can compromise your MRI picture? Motion can affect nearly every modality of radiology, but none so much as MRI. This is because the machine is taking images of your body in such detail, that when a patient moves even just a little in the MRI machine, the scan can become blurry.

This makes it difficult for the radiologists to read the image and make an accurate diagnosis.  Movement during your MRI scan can lead to additional time in the machine because the image sequence may need to be redone. You may even have to reschedule your appointment to redo the entire exam (and it’s not known if your insurance carrier will authorize a “do-over”).

Why Movement During an MRI is a Problem

MRI scans are done in a series of images known as sequences. The length of each sequence can vary depending on the body part being scanned and its extremely important to hold still during each one. You will have the opportunity to move between sequences and Capitol Imaging Services MRI Technologists will talk to you through a speaker, letting you know how much time you have left to hold still. Our MRI technologists are experienced and specially trained. Their goal is to keep you comfortable and ensure your time in the machine is as minimized as possible.

See for Yourself

movement during MRI results

On the right are two sets of images showing an MRI of the shoulder and an MRI of the knee. Can you tell in which picture the patient moved?

We know it can be a challenge for some to hold still. But, like taking pictures with a camera, when the subject of the picture is moving (or the camera moves because it is not held steady), the picture turns out blurry and distorted. Since the MRI is stationary and does not move, the person having the MRI has the responsibility of being as still as possible.

An MRI provides many clinical benefits to your medical provider. With less-than-stellar images, both the radiologist and medical provider are at a significant disadvantage.

Let’s Get It Right the First Time

We want to get it right the first time. We know you do, too.

Our radiologists need an extremely clear picture to make the most accurate diagnosis for you.  Thank you for doing your part and holding still during your exam. Your “stillness” will be very much appreciated by the physician assigned to read your exam and your medical provider who is relying on the results to formulate a treatment strategy.

Capitol Imaging Services performs MRI at multiple locations throughout our network. Our technologists work to have you be as calm and comfortable as possible for your test. You’ll be in good hands.

Click on the REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT button (above right) to send us a secure email requesting appointment assistance. Our experienced associates will assist you in identifying the appropriate facility for your MRI.

Choose independent and save. Choose Capitol Imaging Services: doctor trusted and patient preferred.

Image used under license from