Fetal MRI

What is Fetal MRI?

What is a Fetal MRI?

MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a noninvasive test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to generate detailed images of joints, soft tissues and bone. A Fetal MRI is a type of MRI performed during pregnancy to evaluate your fetus for possible abnormalities. Fetal MRI examinations are usually requested by your Obstetrician after an Ultrasound. While a traditional MRI typically requires the patient to keep still during imaging, a Fetal MRI helps accommodate for the unpredictable movements of a fetus. At Fairfax Radiology, the Fetal MRIs are reviewed by both Neuro and Pediatric Radiologists.

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Why would my physician recommend a Fetal MRI?

Your physician may recommend a Fetal MRI if there was an uncertain or abnormal result on a Fetal Ultrasound or if your baby is at increased risk for a condition as determined by results of genetic testing. The Fetal MRI is used to provide an additional perspective to further evaluate on uncertain finding on Obstetric Ultrasound.

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How does a Fetal MRI work?

Unlike conventional X-ray examinations and Computed Tomography (CT) scans, a Fetal MRI does not utilize ionizing radiation. Instead, it uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create images of the joints, soft tissues and bones inside of the fetus. These images can be used to diagnose any number of conditions or complications that may present themselves during pregnancy, delivery or shortly after birth.

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What should I expect during a Fetal MRI?

If this is your first MRI, you may not be sure what to expect. Not to worry, we are here to guide you every step of the way. During the procedure, you will lie flat on an exam table. The table slides through a scanner where the surrounding magnetic fields and radio waves will capture images of your fetus. It is important that you remain still while the table slides through the scanner. The MRI machine does generate loud noises as images are captured. All patients are given protective ear plugs, or headphones for music. The Technologist will be the adjacent room operating the scanner, but will be able to hear and communicate with you throughout the exam. The entire test should take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, depending your baby's level of activity.

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What should I expect after a Fetal MRI?

When the MRI is complete, you may be asked to wait until the Radiologist checks the images to ensure no additional images are needed. Once the exam is complete, you may resume your normal activity level. Our Radiologist will interpret your study and send the final report to your physician.

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Is a Fetal MRI painful?

MRI exams are painless. The part that may be uncomfortable is remaining still during the imaging portion of the exam.

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How do I schedule a Fetal MRI with Fairfax Radiology?

Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

Fax: 703.698.0864

Or click here to make an appointment request

Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.

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When are appointments offered for a Fetal MRI?

For your convenience, appointments are available mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends at our Fairfax MRI Center. Learn more about this location.

Have questions about your insurance coverage?