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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at University of Colorado Hospital

What is an MRI?

Radiology - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a large magnet and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs and structures inside the body. An MRI might show details that do not appear on x-ray, ultrasound or a Computed Tomography (CT) scan.

MRI scans help physicians make accurate diagnoses and select appropriate treatments. MRI tests are computer generated and read by University of Colorado Radiologists.

MRI Images are used to detect, diagnose, and monitor problems in many different parts of the body. Your MRI test may have been recommended so that your prescribing physician can diagnose conditions in one of the following areas:

  • Brain
  • Breast
  • Blood and blood vessels
  • Body (chest, abdomen and pelvis)
  • Bones and joints (in addition to imaging, musculoskeletal (MSK) radiologists perform interventional procedures such as therapeutic and diagnostic joint, spine, and tendon injections)
  • Heart
  • Spine

Your MRI Test

Download our patient information and safety screening form

How long will my MRI test take?

Please allow 1 hour for you MRI test to be completed. Please show up 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

What happens when my MRI test is finished?

You are free to leave the hospital and continue your daily activities after your MRI test. There are no follow up instructions unless otherwise instructed by your referring physician.

How will I learn the results?

The results of your MRI test will be made available to your referring physician 24-48 hours after your imaging test is complete. Please contact the physician that referred your for the test if you have any questions about the results of your examination.

How do I prepare for my MRI test?

  • Tell your healthcare provider about any food or medication allergies including latex
  • Let your provider know if you have any of the following to ensure that precautionary measures are taken:
    • Brain aneurysm clip
    • Cardiac pacemaker, pacing wires, implanted cardiac defibrillator
    • Gastrointestinal clips
    • Artificial heart valves
    • Cochlear implants, or prostheses
    • IUD, diaphragm, pessary, or urinary catheters
    • Stents, filters, or coils
    • Any type of prosthesis (eye, penile)
    • Any implanted devices (bone growth, spinal cord stimulator, medication pump
    • Medication Patches (these will need to be removed)
    • Artificial limbs or joints
    • Pin, screw, nail, wire, or plate in any joint
    • Surgical mesh or wire sutures
    • Breast tissue expander
    • Tattoos, body piercings, or permanent makeup
    • Dentures, partial plates, retainers or temporary spacers
    • Hearing aides (must be removed)


  • Print out and bring a list of current medications and allergies including latex
  • Complete any blood work that is requested by your referring physician
  • Tell your care provider if you could be pregnant or if you are currently breastfeeding prior to coming to your MRI appointment.
  • Please let your health care provider know if you have ever been injured by a bullet, BB, or shrapnel or have sustained an eye injury from a metal object or metal slivers.
  • Please let your care provider know if you are claustrophobic so you can be prescribed medication prior to your MRI appointment. If you are ordered to take this type of medication during your MRI test, you will need someone to drive you home after the examination.
  • Please let your care provider know if you have a history of asthma, respiratory disease, or allergic reactions including past reactions to contrast medium or dye used for MRI, CT, or X-ray examinations.

Your MRI Appointment

When should I arrive?

Please arrive 20 minutes before your imaging test begins to fill out the necessary hospital-required paperwork.

How do I get to my appointment?

Directions to General Radiology at the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion (AOP)


Enter the main entrance of the Outpatient Pavilion (the east side of the hospital where the clinics are). You will see the main reception desk in front of you just inside the entrance doors.


Turn left down the main corridor, and you will see signs posted for Radiology. We are located down the hallway across form the Courtyard Café.

General Radiology AOP

MRI scheduling/ AOP: (720) 848-1160

Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion
Department of Radiology
1635 Aurora Court 
Aurora, CO 80045     

Valet Patient parking is available.

Patient Radiation and Safety Information

Radiology facilities at University of Colorado Hospital make imaging safety our number one priority. We take every precaution necessary to make sure that you are safe during your imaging test or procedure.

MRIs are a “low risk” imaging test, because there is no radiation exposure to the patient during this examination.

Additional MRI Resources

UC Denver School of Medicine Radiology Dept.