Those of us who work at Capitol Imaging Services are often asked by people, particularly those who have never had an MRI before, “I’ve heard that lots of different sounds are made by the machine. Is that true?”

Yes, that is true. The sounds are made by the banging is the vibration of metal coils in the machine caused by rapid pulses of electricity. Magnetic resonance imaging produces images of the body by causing shifts in a very strong magnetic field and measuring how tissues react.

Inside the scanner are coils of metal wire called gradient coils. When electricity is passed through such a coil, a magnetic field is created. Rapid pulses of electricity cause predictable changes in the field, resulting in tissue changes that can be measured and transformed into anatomic images.

Our centers provides headphones with music or ear plugs to protect a person’s ears and minimize the noise. This writer has had two MRI’s in 3T systems and multiple test MRI’s in our high field open unit in Metairie. My method? I closed my eyes and counted the “pulses” that I could identify as being consistent during my test. It was actually a fun way to pass the time to see if I could tell when they pulse patterns changed.

To hear various samples of MRI sounds, visit the video below. While lengthy, you can skip to various parts and get your own first-hand account.

Capitol Imaging Services performs MRI at over 20 of our locations. Our centers are accredited by the American College of Radiology, meeting or exceeding their standards set for quality, safety, reporting and expertise.

Our MRI exam prices and far below those of local hospitals and hospital-owned imaging centers. We assess no additional fees above and beyond the test, Hospitals almost always do.

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