Why am I having a mpMRI?
mpMRI is used either for investigation of possible prostate cancer, or after a biopsy that has shown prostate cancer, to look at the prostate and lymph nodes in more detail. An outline of the indications for mpMRI can be found here.
Is it painful?
No, mpMRI is painless. An intravenous contrast agent called gadolinium is used, along with a drug to relax the muscle in your bowel, so you will require a small needle inserted into your arm or back of hand for the injection.
Preparation for your mpMRI
The radiology company will send you details of preparation for your scan. Please check with them about their requirements.
You must tell the radiographer if:
If you have any metal foreign bodies or medical implants, you may not be able to have the MRI scan. It is VERY important that you give full information about these to the radiographer. An outline list of these implants and contra-indications is listed here. This is not a complete list, and you must contact the radiology company of you have any concerns or questions about these.
What happens during a mpMRI?
Once you arrive, you will be asked to visit the toilet and empty your bladder, and your bowel if possible. After changing into a gown and removing all jewellery, including any piercings, you will lie on the MRI couch, and ultrasound gel is applied to your abdomen. A small intravenous cannula will be inserted for injection of the muscle relaxing agent and the contrast dye. The dye will only be injected towards the end of the examination. The scan can take about 30 minutes, sometimes a little longer. The MRI scanner is a short tunnel and you can feel a touch claustrophobic if you are prone to that. The scanner is quite noisy, so you will be given headphones to listen to music.
How long does it take to get the results?
The scan needs to be viewed and interpreted by a Radiologist. This is a highly specialised process and usually the results are back within 5 days but sometimes sooner.
Are there any risks of a mpMRI?
No X-ray radiation is involved, and the magnetic field itself is harmless. There are extremely rare (1:500,000) reports of allergic/anaphylactic reactions to gadolinium contrast.
If you have any questions, please contact your chosen Radiology provider. The administration staff at Nick Brook Urology do NOT have information about your appointment times for radiology, and are not able to give medical advice or answer questions about radiological investigations. The staff are not able to give you your results – these need to be given to you either by the radiologist or by Nick Brook. Use the links below for contact details for the radiology companies in South Australia:
Radiology SA http://www.radiologysa.com.au
Benson Radiology http://bensonradiology.com.au
Dr Jones & Partners http://www.drjones.com.au
This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.