To get an MRI, patients must have a doctor referral.
Please see a physician, chiropractor, dentist or podiatrist to get a referral

prices vary by location - price includes radiologist reading

  • State-of-the-art Open MRI Scan Equipment
  • Open and Closed Equipment
  • PET Scans Available
  • 2,800 Locations Nationwide
  • Out of Area Patients Welcome
  • Imaging CD's available for patients to take to their doctors.
  • Results Faxed to Patient's Doctor
  • Board Certified Radiologists
  • Open MRI or CT Scan clinical findings included in price.
  • No Hidden Fees
  • Same Day Appointments
  • Pediatric, Elderly, Overweight Patient Specialists
  • No Tunnel
  • No Loud Noises
  • Top Quality Images

How can we offer lower MRI Scan prices?

Major insurance companies and HMO's use their volume purchasing power to contract with quality imaging centers for much lower fees. Similar to insurance companies, we have negotiated lower contract rates with state-of-the-art imaging centers. However, unlike insurance companies who keep the difference to increase their profits, we pass on the lower contract rate to uninsured consumers who are paying for their own test. Uninsured consumers can save by scheduling your MRI or CT Scan at one of our quality state-of-the-art contract imaging facilities. Out of area patients can easily bring their MRI or CT Scan back with them on a CD, and have the radiologist report faxed to their doctor.

Medical Discounts International specializes in helping Americans pay lower rates for MRIs, CAT Scans, and many other expensive medical, dental, prescription drug and surgical procedures. People who use one our state-of-the-art MRI/CT Scan imaging facilities will immediately receive our lower contract rates.. To schedule an affordable MRI or CT Scan, fax the physician, podiatrist or chiropractor MRI or CT Scan referral to us toll free (888) 310-4972. Be sure to include the patient's name and phone number on the doctor's referral. We will confirm and guarantee the price before the patient makes their appointment. Everything is included in the listed price unless the doctor's referral requires contrast (add $100). Most appointments can be made within 24 hours of receiving the doctor referral. We have had people come from every state and Canada to get these lower prices.

What is an MRI scan?

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a fairly new technique that has been used since the beginning of the 1980s. The MRI scan uses magnetic and radio waves, meaning that there is no exposure to x-rays or any other damaging forms of radiation.

How does an MRI scanner work?

The patient lies inside a large, cylinder-shaped magnet. Radio waves 10,000 to 30,000 times stronger than the magnetic field of the earth are then sent through the body. This affects the body's atoms, forcing the nuclei into a different position. As they move back into place they send out radio waves of their own. The scanner picks up these signals and a computer turns them into a picture. These pictures are based on the location and strength of the incoming signals.

Our body consists mainly of water, and water contains hydrogen atoms. For this reason, the nucleus of the hydrogen atom is often used to create an MRI scan in the manner described above.

What does an MRI scan show?

Using an MRI scanner, it is possible to make pictures of almost all the tissue in the body. The tissue that has the least hydrogen atoms (such as bones) turns out dark, while the tissue that has many hydrogen atoms (such as fatty tissue) looks much brighter. By changing the timing of the radiowave pulses it is possible to gain information about the different types of tissues that are present.

An MRI scan is also able to provide clear pictures of parts of the body that are surrounded by bone tissue, so the technique is useful when examining the brain and spinal cord.

Because the MRI scan gives very detailed pictures it is the best technique when it comes to finding tumors (benign or malignant abnormal growths) in the brain. If a tumor is present the scan can also be used to find out if it has spread into nearby brain tissue.

The technique also allows us to focus on other details in the brain. For example, it makes it possible to see the strands of abnormal tissue that occur if someone has multiple sclerosis and it is possible to see changes occurring when there is bleeding in the brain, or find out if the brain tissue has suffered lack of oxygen after a stroke.

The MRI scan is also able to show both the heart and the large blood vessels in the surrounding tissue. This makes it possible to detect heart defects that have been building up since birth, as well as changes in the thickness of the muscles around the heart following a heart attack. The method can also be used to examine the joints, spine and sometimes the soft parts of your body such as the liver, kidneys and spleen.

How does an MRI scan differ from a CT scan?

With an MRI scan it is possible to take pictures from almost every angle, whereas a CT Scan only shows pictures horizontally. There is no ionizing radiation (X-rays) involved in producing an MRI scan. MRI scans are generally more detailed, too. The difference between normal and abnormal tissue is often clearer on the MRI scan than on the CT scan.

How is an MRI scan performed?

The scan is usually done as an outpatient procedure, which means that the patient can go home after the test. During the scan it is important to lie completely still. For this reason it might be necessary to give a child an anesthetic before they are tested.

Since you are exposed to a powerful magnetic field during the MRI scan, it is important not to wear jewelry or any other metal objects.

It is also important for the patient to inform medical staff if they use electrical appliances, such as a hearing aid or pacemaker, or have any metal in their body such as surgical clips, but orthopedic metal ware such as artificial hips or bone screws is not normally a problem.

Is an MRI scan dangerous?

There are no known dangers or side effects connected to an MRI scan. The test is not painful; you cannot feel it. Since radiation is not used, the procedure can be repeated without problems. There is a small theoretical risk to the fetus in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and therefore scans are not performed on pregnant women during this time.

Because patients have to lie inside a large cylinder while the scans are being made some people get claustrophobic during the test. Patients who are afraid this might happen should talk to the doctor beforehand, who may give them some medication to help them relax.

The machine also makes a banging noise while it is working, which might be unpleasant.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI Scan) Glossary

Abdomen: The belly , that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis . The abdomen is separated
Bone: Bone is the substance that forms the skeleton of the body. It is composed chiefly of calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate . It also serves as a storage area for calcium, playing a large role in calcium balance in the blood.
Brain: That part of the central nervous system that is located within the cranium ( skull ). The brain functions as the primary receiver, organizer and distributor of information for the body. It has two (right and left) halves called "hemispheres."
Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are x-ray dyes used to provide contrast, for example, between blood vessels and other tissue.
Film: Slang shortening of X-ray film, an X-ray, a radiograph.
Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. It is positioned in the chest behind the sternum (breastbone; in front of the trachea, esophagus, and aorta; and above the diaphragm muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities. The normal heart is about the size of a closed fist, and weighs about 10.5 ounces. It is cone-shaped, with the point of the cone pointing down to the left. Two-thirds of the heart lies in the left side of the chest with the balance in the right chest.
Heart valves: There are four heart valves. All are one-way valves. Blood entering the heart first passes through the tricuspid valve and then the pulmonary valve. After returning from the lungs, the blood passes through the mitral (bicuspid) valve and exits via the aortic valve.
Inflammation: A basic way in which the body reacts to infection , irritation or other injury, the key feature being redness, warmth, swelling and pain . Inflammation is now recognized as a type of nonspecific immune response .
Magnetic resonance imaging : A special radiology technique designed to image internal structures of the body using magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce the images of body structures. In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the scanner is a tube surrounded by a giant circular magnet. The patient is placed on a moveable bed that is inserted into the magnet. The magnet creates a strong magnetic field that aligns the protons of hydrogen atoms, which are then exposed to a beam of radio waves. This spins the various protons of the body, and they produce a faint signal that is detected by the receiver portion of the MRI scanner. A computer processes the receiver information, and an image is produced. The image and resolution is quite detailed and can detect tiny changes of structures within the body, particularly in the soft tissue, brain and spinal cord, abdomen and joints.
Abbreviation and nickname for magnetic resonance imaging.
Prosthetic: Referring to a prosthesis, an artificial substitute or replacement of a part of the body such as a tooth , eye, a facial bone, the palate , a hip, a knee or another joint , the leg, an arm, etc. A prosthesis is designed for functional or cosmetic reasons or both.
Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and x-rays are two of the types of energy waves often used in medicine. 2. The use of energy waves to diagnose or treat disease.
Radiologist: A physician specialized in radiology , the branch of medicine that uses ionizing and nonionizing radiation for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Radiology: The branch of medicine that uses ionizing and nonionizing radiation for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Resolution: In genetics , resolution refers to the degree of molecular detail on a physical map of DNA , ranging from low to high.
Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of the body by gathering information with a sensing device.
Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies within the vertebral canal and from which the spinal nerves emerge. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves originate in the spinal cord: 8 cervical , 12 thoracic , 5 lumbar, 5 sacral, and 1 coccygeal. The spinal cord and the brain constitute the central nervous system ( CNS ).
Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects the spinal cord. The spine can be categorized according to level of the body: i.e., cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper and middle back), and lumbar spine (lower back). See also vertebral column. 2) Any short prominence of bone. The spines of the vertebrae protrude at the base of the back of the neck and in the middle of the back. These spines protect the spinal cord from injury from behind.
Stroke : The sudden death of some brain cells due to a lack of oxygen when the blood flow to the brain is impaired by blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain. A stroke is also called a cerebrovascular accident or, for short, a CVA.
Trauma: Any injury , whether physically or emotionally inflicted. "Trauma" has both a medical and a psychiatric definition. Medically, "trauma" refers to a serious or critical bodily injury, wound, or shock . This definition is often associated with trauma medicine practiced in emergency rooms and represents a popular view of the term. In psychiatry , "trauma" has assumed a different meaning and refers to an experience that is emotionally painful, distressful, or shocking, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.
Vertebrae: The preferred plural of vertebra. (The alternate plural is vertebras.)


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Bone is better imaged by conventional x-rays in some cases and CT Scans are preferred for patients with severe bleeding. A MRI may not always distinguish between tumor tissue and edema fluid and does not detect calcium when this is present within a tumor. In most cases the examination is safe for patients with metal implants, with the exception of a few types of implants, so patients should inform the technician of an implant prior to the test. The examination must be used cautiously in early pregnancy. MRI typically costs more than CT scanning.

How does the MRI procedure work?

MRI is a unique imaging method because, unlike the usual radiographs (x-rays) or even Computed Tomography (CT) scanning, it does not rely on radiation. Instead radiofrequency waves are directed at protons, the nuclei of hydrogen atoms, in a strong magnetic field. The protons are first "excited" and then "relaxed," emitting radio signals that can be computer-processed to form an image. In the body, protons are most abundant in the hydrogen atoms of water—the "H" of H2O—so that an MR image shows differences in the water content and distribution in various body tissues. Even different types of tissue within the same organ, such as the gray and white matter of the brain, can easily be distinguished. Typically an MRI examination consists of two to six imaging sequences, each lasting two to 15 minutes. Each sequence has its own degree of contrast and shows a cross-section of the body in one of several planes (right to left, front to back, upper to lower).

For more MRI information see

Low Cost MRI Scan Tests (Partial List)

Abdomen . Adrenal Glands . Ankle (Achilles) . Bladder . Brain . Breast . Cervical Spine (C-Spine) . Chest . Coccyx (Tailbone) . Elbow . Face (Maxillofacial, Parotid Glands) . Femur (Thigh, Upper Leg) . Fingers . Foot . Forearm (Lower Arm) . Hand . Hip . Humerus (Upper Arm) . IAC's (Inner Ear) . Kidneys (Renal) . Knee . Liver . Lower Leg (Calf, Tibia, Fibula) . Lumbar Spine (L-Spine) . Mandible (Jaw) . MRA Abdomen (Abdominal Aorta) . MRA Brain . MRA Chest . MRA Kidneys . MRA Knee . MRA Neck . Nasopharynx (Tongue) . Neck . Orbits (Ears) . Pancreas . Pelvis . Pituitary Gland . Prostate Gland . Sacrum . Shoulder . SI Joints (Pelvic Joints) Thoracic Spine (T-Spine, Dorsal Spine) . TMJ (Jaw Joints) . Toe . Uterus . Wrist