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Call 703.558.8500 to request an appointment.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful tool for diagnosing injuries and illnesses. You'll benefit from the newest and most advanced MRI — an open bore 3 Tesla (3T) MRI at Virginia Hospital Center.

What is MRI?

MRI uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to obtain detailed images of the soft tissues—organs, muscles, veins and nerves—in the body. It is the most advanced imaging at Virginia Hospital Center, and it is a safe diagnostic tool. There are no known side effects because there is no radiation.

MRI is used to diagnose tumors, infection, neurological conditions and orthopedic injuries, and can be used to image virtually any part of the body. MRI of the heart can identify structural problems, such as aneurysms (weakened arteries), or heart valve disease and heart failure. MRI can also monitor blood flow to the brain and liver, as well as evaluate the contractions of the small bowel and the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Who Interprets MRI Results?

At Virginia Hospital Center, fellowship-trained radiologists review the images from MRI scans. Our radiologists have been trained at prestigious academic centers, including the University of California San Francisco, Stanford University, the Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Maryland. The radiologists work closely with your doctor to make sure you get accurate and timely results to provide you with the best care.

What Happens During an MRI?

During MRI, you lie down on a padded table and are positioned so that the part of the body to be scanned is in the center of the magnet. Each exam takes about 30 minutes. You must lie completely still during the imaging.

Will I Be Comfortable?

Since all MRIs make noise during the examination, you'll receive earplugs. Or, choose to listen to music on our sound system or on your mobile device. You'll still hear the MRI sounds, but not as loudly.

The exam room can be chilly, so you'll get a warm blanket. You'll be in constant communication with staff. Use the call button whenever you need us.

Open bore MRI
The Skyra 3.0T MRI has an open bore with increased space to provide improved patient comfort.

What is Open Bore MRI?

An open bore MRI machine has a tube that is much wider than a standard MRI machine. The larger diameter is more comfortable for you and results in less claustrophobia. The larger bore can also accommodate larger patients, up to 550 pounds. It offers faster exams, more patient comfort, and sharper images.

Your radiology team will use the right machine for your needs.

For Physicians

View referral information. Fax completed forms to:

  • 703.358.9638 (for diagnostic imaging)
  • 703.558.6252 (for interventional radiology)

Related Locations

  • Main Hospital
    Main Hospital


    1701 N George Mason Drive
    Arlington, VA 22205