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Pediatric Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a procedure that uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to create detailed images of organs and tissues in the body. It’s used to diagnose problems in many areas of the body.

There are different types of MRI machines. Some look like narrow tunnels. Others are more open and may be a choice for children who can’t handle small, confined spaces. The machine creates a strong magnetic field, which works with radio waves to change the position of the body’s hydrogen atoms. As they go back into correct position, they send out signals. A computer receives the signals and converts them into images of the body. This image appears on a computer screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why might my child need an MRI?

What are the risks of an MRI in children?

How do I help my child prepare for an MRI?

What happens during an MRI in children?

What happens after an MRI in a child?

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Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology at Children's National Hospital

Our patient and family-centered facility has the most advanced radiology equipment in an environment designed for infants, children and adolescents. Discover more about the services we offer.

MRI Neurobehavior Program
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Departments that Offer Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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Anesthesiology, Pain and Perioperative Medicine

Children's National is the only hospital in the Washington, D.C., area that guarantees that your child will be cared for by an anesthesiologist trained in administering anesthesia specifically to children.

MRI Provider with Patients

Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology

The Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology has a team of expert physicians, board-certified pediatric radiologists, technologists, pediatric anesthesiologists and nurses, specially trained to provide pediatric radiology services for infants, children and adolescents.

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Interventional Radiology

Children's National interventional radiologists perform a full range of minimally invasive, image-guided procedures to both diagnose and treat disease in infants, children, and adolescents.