and affiliate of NYU Langone Medical Center
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Frequently Asked Questions
MRI - Last Updated 09/21/11
At Metropolitan Diagnostic Imaging Group, we want patients to be comfortable in knowing what to expect before, during, and after procedures. Knowledge is the key. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions.
What is a CT/CTA?
A CT, or CAT scan, is an advanced computer-assisted x-ray that produces a series of highly detailed cross-sectional images of the organs and structures within your body. A CTA uses the same computer assisted x-ray system to image blood vessels.
Are there any preparations for this exam?
Depending upon the type of exam you are having, preparations can vary from fasting, to needing a contrast media by mouth or injection. The media is naturally eliminated from the body within a few hours, or a day at most. The preparation that is appropriate for you will be determined before your exam.

Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours prior to your test. If you are diabetic, you must speak to your doctor about your special considerations. You must tell us if you are allergic to x-ray contrast material or iodine (shellfish). You must also inform the technologist if you are pregnant. For a head/body scan you must remove anything metallic that may interfere with the scanning process and tell the technologist if you have any implants. For an abdomen or pelvic scan please come our office that day before the exam to pick up the oral contrast agent you must take.

If you are over 50 years of age your doctor will need to provide verification that your kidneys are functioning properly, this is generally accomplished through lab work.
Are there any medical conditions that would preclude me from having a CT/CTA?
Some of the following conditions may keep you from having the test. Please advise our staff if any apply to you.

- Had prior reactions to contrast.
- Are pregnant or may be pregnant.
- Have renal/kidney disease.
- Are allergic to iodine or shellfish.
What will the exam be like?
A certified technologist whose primary concern is your care and well being will greet you and prepare you for your exam. After removing items such as jewelry, glasses, hearing aids or dentures, you will recline on a padded table that moves smoothly in and out the donut-shaped gantry. The machinery will emit clicking or humming noises during the exam. The technologist will have you in full view at all times and will be able to speak to you via a two-way intercom during the exam. If you have been given a contrast injection, you should drink plenty of liquids after your exam to help eliminate the agent from your body.
How long will the exam take?
Most exams take approximately 15-30 minutes. Actual exposure time is minimal, however, additional time is needed for the computer to generate the necessary images and to complete paperwork.
When will my physician receive the results of my exam?
A Metropolitan Diagnostic Imaging Group radiologist will study your images and report the findings to your physician within 24-48 hours. Your physician will then discuss the results with you.
What is the difference between an MRI/MRA/CT/CTA?
An MRI/MRA uses a magnetic force and radio waves to produce images of the body. A CT/CTA uses a very sophisticated x-ray machine to produce images of the body.
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