Your doctor has recommended you for either magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) of your neck. These procedures use a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create detailed images of neck area. The angiography procedure is specifically designed to examine the blood vessels leaving the heart and entering the brain. Our team of specialist physicians can use these images to distinguish normal, healthy tissue and diseased tissue. Our team of specialist physicians, nurses and technologists is led by Barry Pressman, MD, chief of Head and Neck Radiology and Neuroradiology, and by Franklin Moser, MD, clinical chief of Neuroradiology. 

Before Arriving for Your Exam

  • You can print and fill out the MRI Questionnaire and the MRI and Pregnancy form, if applicable, from the Pre-Registration Questionnaire page before arriving to speed the registration process.
  • You may eat and drink before this exam.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Although we do not anticipate any delay in your scheduled appointment, we recommend that you bring a book, a magazine or a music player to help pass the time while you are waiting.
  • In addition, you may bring a CD to listen to while being scanned.
  • For studies that involve IV contrast: If you have veins that are small or hard to find, or have a port, please arrive 60 minutes before your scheduled arrival time.
  • If you are claustrophobic (fearful of small, enclosed areas) or experience pain when lying on your back for more than 30 minutes, your referring physician may prescribe a relaxant or pain medication. The imaging physicians at Cedars-Sinai will not prescribe such a medication for you.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing.
  • If you plan to take relaxation medication before your exam, it is our policy that you come with someone who can drive you home.

After Arriving

  • You must inform the technologist, radiology nurse and/or imaging physician if you have any allergies, are pregnant or are nursing.
  • You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire, which will determine if an MRI or MRA is safe for you. People with various implants (usually metallic), body piercings or with metal in their bodies (including some tattoos) may have difficulty with an MRI, which utilizes a strong magnetic field. The imaging physician needs to be informed of any of these potential problems.

During Your Exam

  • You will be positioned on the scanning table head first with your arms at your side.
  • Coils (special devices to improve image quality) may be placed on or around the neck area.
  • The scanning table will slide your entire body into the magnet.
  • During the scan you will not feel anything, but you will hear intermittent humming, thumping, clicking and knocking sounds.
  • Earplugs will be provided to help mask the noise and to allow you to listen to music.
  • In most cases, the imaging physician requests a contrast agent (dye) to improve the quality of the images.
  • The contrast agent is injected into a vein in the arm, and may cause a cool sensation.
  • As pictures are taken, you must hold very still, and in some cases, hold your breath.
  • The technologist is always able to see and hear you during the exam.
  • The MRI exam will take approximately 45 minutes.

MRA of the neck and the subclavian arteries.

After Your Exam

  • There are no restrictions placed on you after this procedure. You may eat or drive as normal, although if you took relaxation medication, you will need someone to drive you home.
  • An imaging physician will exam your films and write a report with the findings. This will be sent to you doctor who will discuss the results with you.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.