Chest MRI usually is done at a hospital or at a special medical imaging facility. A radiologist or other doctor with special training in this type of test oversees the testing.
Chest MRI usually takes 45 to 90 minutes, depending on how many pictures are needed. The test may take less time with some newer MRI machines.
How the Test Is Done
Chest MRI is painless and has few risks. During the test, you lie on your back on a sliding table as it passes through the MRI machine. A technician will control the machine from the next room. He or she will be able to see you through a glass window and talk to you through a speaker. Tell the technician if you have a hearing problem.
A Patient Having a Chest MRI
The photo shows a patient lying on a sliding table outside of an MRI machine. The table will slide into the machine, and the patient will lie quietly while the machine takes pictures of the chest.
You'll hear loud humming, tapping, and buzzing noises from the MRI machine. You may be able to use earplugs or listen to music during the test.
Moving your body can cause the pictures to blur. The technician will ask you to remain very still during the test. If you can't lie still, you may be given medicine to help you relax. The technician also may ask you to hold your breath for 10 to 15 seconds at a time, while he or she takes pictures of the structures in your chest.