MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive imaging tool that creates detailed, three dimensional pictures of inside the body, including the soft tissues, organs, brain, spine, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and the inside of bones.

MRI can be used to:

  • Help doctors distinguish between normal and diseased tissue within the body
  • Detect and diagnose medical conditions and diseases, such as cancer, heart and vascular disease, aneurysms, and muscular and bone abnormalities
  • Determine the aggressiveness of a tumor to properly stage diseases like cancer
  • Monitor disease progression and plan treatment

What type of MRIs do we offer?

Edward-Elmhurst Health offers some of the most advanced MRI technology available, designed for the highest-quality images, more accurate diagnoses, and greater patient comfort. All scans are interpreted by expert subspecialty board-certified radiologists.

We offer many types of MRIs:

  • Traditional closed-bore MRI – A full-body MRI that uses a large cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet to evaluate internal organs and tissues
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) – An imaging tool used to examine the blood vessels.
  • Wide-bore MRI – As one of the largest and widest bores available, our MRI system provides greater patient comfort while creating clear high-quality 2D and 3D images. With more space around your head, you have plenty of breathing room. This machine can accommodate patients up to 660 pounds.
    • 3 Tesla (3T) MRIs – This machine has a stronger magnetic field for better signal and high-quality imaging. It also has increased image clarity for detecting a variety of conditions.

Your doctor will work with you to determine what type of MRI is most appropriate for your individual medical condition. Keep in mind, an open MRI may not be able to take images of certain areas of the body and is not always an option.

Caring Suites

At the main campuses of both Edward Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital, we offer a “Caring Suite” for patients getting an MRI. This enables you to have more control over the room’s environment, including the music and color scheme. For instance, you can choose to listen to soothing music and look at a relaxing nature scene while getting your scan. You also have the ability to watch movies during certain  scans.

Where can you get an MRI?


Edward-Elmhurst Health Center and Immediate Care - Addison
303 W. Lake Street
Addison, IL 60101
Traditional closed MRI


Elmhurst Center for Health
1200 S. York Street
Elmhurst, IL 60126
Traditional closed MRI

Elmhurst Hospital – main campus
155 E. Brush Hill Road
Elmhurst, IL 60126
2 wide-bore MRIs, including a 3 Tesla (3T) MRI


Edward-Elmhurst Health Center and Immediate Care - Lombard
130 S. Main Street
Lombard, IL 60148
Wide-bore MRI


Edward-Elmhurst Health Center - 95th Street
2007 95th Street
Naperville, IL 60564
Traditional closed MRI

Edward Hospital – main campus
801 S. Washington Street
Naperville, IL 60540
4 wide-bore MRIs, including 2 - 3T MRIs with “Caring Suites”


Edward Outpatient Center - Plainfield
24600 W. 127th Street
Plainfield, IL 60585
2 traditional closed MRIs


Edward-Elmhurst Health Center - Woodridge
3329 75th Street
Woodridge, IL 60517
Wide-bore MRI

What are the benefits of an MRI?

Unlike X-rays and CT scans, an MRI does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation. Instead, MRI uses a powerful magnet, radiofrequency waves, and a computer to generate a series of detailed images.

MRI provides great contrast between the different soft tissues of the body. It can be used in the early diagnosis and evaluation of many tumors. It is often the imaging tool of choice when frequent imaging is needed for diagnosis or therapy.

Why get an MRI?

Our advanced MRI technology provides high resolution imaging for more accurate diagnoses. Our expert radiologists use MRI to evaluate patients with certain conditions, including, but not limited to:

  • Tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis (e.g., cancers of the breast, prostate, ovaries, uterus, pancreas, kidneys)
  • Neurological issues (e.g., stroke, MS, spinal cord injury, infection, tumors)
  • Abnormalities of the blood vessels
  • Residual tumors after brain tumor resections
  • GI issues (e.g., tumors, obstruction, Crohn’s disease, gallbladder stones)
  • Abnormalities of the bile ducts and pancreas
  • Diseases of the liver (e.g., cirrhosis)
  • Heart problems (e.g., valve disorders, congenital heart disease)
  • Small joints and orthopedic issues (e.g., tendon tear, tendonitis)
  • Cancer of the breast
  • Tumor recurrences, include recurrent prostate tumors

How do you prepare for an MRI?

First, it’s important to tell your doctor about any health problems, past surgeries, or allergies. Individuals with severe kidney disease may not be eligible for a contrast MRI. If there is a possibility you are pregnant, your doctor needs to know as well.

Also, let your doctor know if you have any removable dentures, devices or implants in your body. People with certain implants should not have an MRI.

Your care team will provide guidelines for eating and drinking before your scan. You’ll be asked to leave jewelry, watches, hair pins, other accessories, or anything with metal at home. Metal and electronic items are not allowed in the exam room for safety reasons. If you have claustrophobia or anxiety, you may want to ask your doctor for a mild sedative prior to the MRI.

What can you expect during an MRI?

An MRI exam typically takes 30-60 minutes. During an MRI, you will rest on a moveable examination table and slide into the center of a large magnet. A technologist will perform the exam from a computer outside of the room. They will be able to see, hear and speak with you at all times using a two-way intercom. There is also a panic button inside the machine in case you need it.

During the exam, you may hear a loud noise, clicking and beeping. Special ear protection or headphones can help you relax. You must stay very still during the imaging process, which is usually only a few seconds to a few minutes at a time. It is normal for the area of your body being imaged to feel slightly warm.

Some MRIs require a contrast dye to be injected into a vein to help certain areas show up better on the images. On very rare occasions, patients experience side effects or allergic reactions from the contrast material.

Most MRIs are painless, although you may find it uncomfortable to remain still during imaging. Some individuals have issues with claustrophobia. Sedation, visualization techniques, listening to music, and closing your eyes can help you relax during the exam. If you are concerned, ask your doctor about the option of a wide-bore MRI.

When will you know the results of the MRI?

A radiologist will analyze the images and send a report to your referring physician, who will share the results with you. It typically takes anywhere from 1-7 days to receive your MRI results.

How do you schedule an MRI?

Edward-Elmhurst Health offers a full suite of imaging services, including advanced MRI technology, backed by the expertise of a team of board-certified radiologists.

MRI appointments are available from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. A doctor’s order is required. Once the order is placed, you’ll receive an invitation to schedule.

You can schedule an MRI online in MyChart® or on the MyEEHealthmobile app. Not active on MyChart? You can schedule online as a guest. You may also call to make an appointment for an MRI at 630-527-3200, once the order has been placed.