Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

At Astra Radiology, Auckland, our three MRI scanners use strong magnetic fields and radio-frequency waves to produce detailed images of the body.

MRI is particularly good at imaging soft tissues and is used to image all areas of the body in many different planes. It does not use x-rays.

At Astra Radiology, we have three 3.0T MRI scanners, located at our Ascot Hospital, Ascot Central & AUT Millennium branches. The ultra-high field strength of the 3.0T magnet produces some of the highest resolution images in the industry, providing more detailed information and a more accurate diagnosis.

At AUT Millennium branch, our MRI unit combines 3.0T magnet strength with a 70cm patient bore allowing more space for patients within the scanner. It also has a completely redesigned table surface with different cushion densities to help alleviate pressure points for a more comfortable scan.

  • Can anyone have an MRI scan?

    Most people can, however some people may not be suitable for MRI scanning.

    Please contact the department before your appointment if you have any of the following:

    • Cardiac Pacemaker or pacing wires.
    • If you have, or previously had, metal fragments in your eyes.
    • Neuro-stimulator, inner ear implants or metallic implants.
    • Aneurysm clips (in the brain).
    • If you are pregnant or breast feeding.
    • If you have had acupuncture or tattoos recently (including cosmetic tattoos).
    • If you have any medicated or therapeutic patches on your body (i.e. nicotine patches).

    We will also ask you to fill out a detailed safety questionnaire before your scan.

  • Preparation

    • Eat and drink normally prior to your MRI scan. If you need to fast for your scan, you will be given instructions when you make your appointment.
    • Sedation may be required for patients suffering from claustrophobia or anxiety. You will need to bring someone to drive you home, and to stay with you for the rest of the day if you need to be sedated.
    • If you are on medication or are diabetic, please take your medication as normal. If you are taking pain relief medication, please take it as normal as it is important that you are comfortable in the scanner.
    • On arrival in radiology, you will be asked to fill out a safety questionnaire, remove all jewellery & watches, and change into a gown.
  • What to expect

    • The MRI scanner is a short tunnel which is open at both ends. As the scanner can be noisy, you will be given headphones (through which we can play your favourite music) or earplugs.
    • The MRI technician is always able to see you through a large viewing window and will be communicating with you throughout the examination via an intercom. A buzzer will be placed in your hand should you need immediate attention. It can be comforting to bring a support person with you.
    • Astra Radiology also offers a relaxing ambience where patients can select their own mood lighting for the scanning room.
    • An MRI scan can last from 15 minutes and up to 60 minutes, depending on what area of the body is being examined. You will be lying on the scan table with a special coil placed close to the area being scanned.
    • Sometimes, to further enhance the images, you may need an injection of contrast (Gadolinium). This will be administered into a vein in your arm during the scan.
  • What is MRI used for?

    MRI is used to image:

    • the musculoskeletal system
    • the brain & spinal cord
    • the breasts
    • the vascular system
    • the pelvic organs
    • the whole body
    • spectroscopy of the brain & internal organs.
  • To make an appointment

    For all MRI scans, we need to see your referral before booking you an appointment.

    Please email a copy of your referral to:

    Once the technologists have protocolled your referral and/or your ACC details have been checked, we will be in touch to discuss appointment times with you.

Patient Info Downloads

Make an appointment online or call our dedicated bookings line