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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive procedure that can provide higher contrast detail than a CT scan without the use of X-ray radiation.

What Happens During An MRI?

Not sure what to expect at your upcoming MRI appointment? Here's more information to help you feel prepared:

MRI is a vital tool in identifying:

  • Many forms of cancer
  • Certain brain tumors
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Ovarian masses
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Metastatic disease
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Aortic aneurysms and dissections
  • Herniated, bulging discs
  • Arthritic changes
  • Sports injuries
  • Heart disease
  • Vascular disease

MRI at UC San Diego Health System

We provide high-quality patient care and imaging services in several state-of-the-art MRI facilities located throughout San Diego.

Our experienced and internationally recognized radiologists are sub-specialized in neuro, breast, joint, abdominal, vascular and cardiac imaging, offering a level of proficiency not available in all MRI facilities.

We offer the latest in advanced imaging technology and procedures, including:

  • Breast MRI to screen high-risk women and monitor patients with cancer.
  • MRI-guided ultrasound for shrinking uterine fibroids and reducing pain from cancer metastasis to the bone.
  • MRI capabilities to monitor early-stage arthritis and diagnose multiple sclerosis.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
  • Advanced prostate imaging
  • MRE
  • Cardiac imaging and cardiac stress testing
  • Liver imaging, including HCC and fatty liver (Hillcrest and Thornton locations).

We Use the Latest MRI Technology

Our MRI scanners are accredited by the American College of Radiology.

We offer the widest MRI scanner in the industry. Its open, wide-bore design reduces claustrophobia and accommodates patients of all sizes. It also has an intercom and patient alert button so that the patient and technologist can be in continuous communication during the examination.

Make An Appointment

Call 619-543-3405



Location will depend on the type of MRI needed.

UC San Diego Medical Center
First floor of main building
Mon–Fri: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat–Sun: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

La Jolla
Thornton Hospital
Mon–Fri: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat–Sun: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Moores Cancer Center
Mon–Fri: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat–Sun: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

University Center Lane
Mon–Fri: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sat–Sun: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.