MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

MRIThe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology provides the leading edge of medical imaging by utilizing the latest advances in orthopedic, abdominal and neurological imaging. MRI uses magnetic energy and radio waves to produce images of soft tissue and vessels and is considered the best diagnostic exam for many areas of the body including the brain, inner ear, spine, abdomen, pelvis, knee, shoulder and feet.

Our Open-Bore MRI has a patient-friendly design with a large opening that is more accommodating to patients who are claustrophobic or for those who require more room inside the scanner. It's innovative technology also provides fast, personalized scans tailored to the patient's body type and specific need.

All outpatient MRI procedures are performed at Wake Radiology UNC REX Healthcare. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, visit

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect?

Our Open-Bore MRI features a wider, more spacious patient opening and a shorter magnet than most MRI systems. This enhances patient comfort and reduces the anxiety some people experience in more enclosed spaces. It also includes a quiet feature that provides a more pleasant patient experience.

We use the 1.5T Magnetom AERA MRI system from Siemens. Our magnet is equipped with the most advanced controls to create high-quality images as quickly and efficiently as possible with no discomfort to you.

Under what conditions are MRIs used?

An MRI scan can be used as an extremely accurate method of disease detection throughout the body. The image and resolution produced by MRI is very detailed and can detect smallest of changes within the body. The excellent contrast in the images makes MRI the imaging choice for many applications, such as looking for issues in the brain, spine, body and musculoskeletal areas.

Are MRI scans like CT scans?

No. A computerized tomography (CT) scan is a computerized X-ray that combines many X-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body. MRI is a radiology technique that uses magnetism, harmless radio waves and a computer to produce images of body structures.

How long does an MRI scan take?

Most procedures are completed within 20 to 60 minutes.

Will I be alone during the scan?

Some people like to be alone during an MRI study. In fact, many people fall asleep during the procedure. However, if you would like, you can have a companion with you in the scanning room throughout the examination. Be assured, you are constantly being monitored visually and via audio intercom.

Must I hold still during the examination?

Yes, holding still is important for image clarity. If you have difficulty holding still, talk to the technologist. He or she can instruct you as to when you may move between scans.

Who will notify me of the scan results?

A radiologist will read the scans and send a report to your doctor, who will share the results with you.

UNC REX MRI locations

UNC REX Hospital, Raleigh
(1.5T Magentom AERA Open-Bore MRI)
4420 Lake Boone Trail
Monday – Friday, 6:30 a.m – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Phone: 919-784-7038
Fax: 919-784-1174

UNC REX Healthcare of Cary
(Achieva MRI)
1515 S.W. Cary Parkway
Monday, Tuesday & Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 919-387-3196
Fax: 919-387-3206

UNC REX Healthcare of Wakefield
(1.5T Espree Open-Bore MRI)
11200 Governor Manly Way
Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 919-570-7736
Fax: 919-570-7737

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