Important Things You Need to Know about MRI and MRCP Scans

by | Feb 25, 2021 | MRI

Reading Time: 2 minutes

An MRI, short for magnetic resonance imaging, is a type of machine that is used to create detailed pictures of specific parts of the body. It is generally used on organs like the brain to help doctors identify problem points for quick and effective diagnosis, but it is also used in other parts of the body. 

MRCP, a specialized type of MRI, is generally used to scan the human body’s pancreatic and bile ducts. Short for magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, MRCP is used to identify tumors, cysts, and other issues in these ducts. 

If you are interested to learn more about MRCP and why you should use MRCP and MRI, keep reading.


The reason to use MRI or MRCP

The main reason to use either MRI or MRCP is to help doctors find problems to develop effective solutions quickly. Concerning the pancreas, the MRI can be used to look for tumors. Unlike CT scans, the MRI uses a different contrast substance that people allergic to the CT scan’s contrast dye cannot use. MRIs also do not expose patients to radiation, making them safer to use.

All of these can also be said about MRCP. However, the added advantage of MRCP is that it can identify other conditions such as pancreatic cysts.


How to prepare a patient for MRI or MRCP scan

The main problem with MRI or MRCP is that the machine’s powerful magnetic field can attract metal objects nearby. This includes jewelry, make-up, and other products. Even clothes can contain metal, and for that reason, everything needs to be removed. In many cases, patients will wear only gowns offered by hospitals when going through an MRI or MRCP scan.

When it comes to medication, patients can generally continue using their meds as normal unless specified by the doctor.


The process of the MRI and MRCP scan

The entire scan can take up to an hour to complete, with the patient lying down inside a tube as still as possible while images are taken. During this process, the MRI scanner may make a lot of loud noises. To help patients deal with the noise, they are offered either earplugs or headphones for music while the machines do their job. 

Due to some of these machines’ enclosed nature, patients with claustrophobia may have trouble staying still. Patients such as these will generally receive either medicine to calm them down or opt for an open MRI. An open MRI is a machine with open sides, and while it does mean a lower quality image, it can calm the patient enough to generate good images.



The MRI and MRCP scanning procedures are some of the best for creating detailed pictures of the body. It is low-risk, noninvasive, and radiation-free. It is free from all the concerns that other tools such as x-rays generally present. Plus, with the help of these detailed pictures, doctors can better understand what is going on inside their patients’ bodies, allowing an effective course of action to address any problems.

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