MRI scans are generally safe; however, the presence of metal in or on the body can pose a safety hazard if attracted to the machine’s powerful magnets. Certain electronic or metal devices in the body may not be certified as MRI-safe. Individuals with the following objects or medical devices in their bodies may not be allowed to get an MRI scan:
- Artificial heart valves
- Cochlear implants
- Bullets, shrapnel, or other metal fragments
- Metal clips
- Metallic joint prostheses
- Certain metal coils placed within blood vessels
- Vagal nerve stimulators
Patients with tattoos or permanent makeup are advised to speak with a doctor about their options before getting an MRI because the pigment used in darker inks may contain metal.
People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, claustrophobic, or diagnosed with kidney or liver problems are also advised to speak with their doctor to explore the risks of getting an MRI and options for testing.