MRI in Boise

9.4 star ratingIntermountain Medical Imaging was the first imaging center to offer 3T MRI in Southwest Idaho. MRI rated 9.4 out of 10 by 328 patients last quarter.

Introducing the Latest in MRI

Intermountain Medical Imaging was the first imaging center to offer 3T MRI in Southwest Idaho. With the introduction of the Philips Ingenia 3T MRI to our healthcare community, IMI offers advanced diagnostic imaging with unsurpassed anatomic detail and scanning efficiency previously unavailable to clinicians and patients in the Boise, Meridian, and throughout the rest of the Treasure Valley.

Patient Comfort

Developed for a wide variety of patients with different ages, sizes and physical conditions, the Ingenia 3T MRI has features that will help put patients at ease.

  • The 70 cm bore provides a wider opening, more space, helps reduce anxiety and is beneficial when working with claustrophobic patients.
  • Smart software reduces retakes and increases consistency and exam speed
  • Digital coil design greatly reduces coil weights and leads to less patient repositioning for many exams which is beneficial for those patients who are in extreme discomfort.
  • Patient perceived gradient acoustic noise is reduced by more than 80%.

3t-mri-up-close 3T-MRI-Abdomen-Slices

MRI Exam

How to prepare for your MRI examination

There is no special preparation necessary for the MRI examination. Unless your doctor specifically requests that you not eat or drink anything before the exam, there are no food or drink restrictions unless you are having and abdominal MRI. Continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor unless otherwise directed.

You will not be allowed to wear anything metallic during the MRI examination, so it would be best to leave watches, jewelry or anything made from metal at home. Even some cosmetics contain small amounts of metals, so it is best to not wear make-up.

In order to prevent metallic objects from being attracted by the powerful magnet of the MR system, you will typically receive a pair of scrubs to wear during your examination. Items that need to be removed by patients before entering the MR system room include:

  • Purse, wallet, money clip, credit cards, cards with magnetic strips
  • Electronic devices such as beepers or cell phones
  • Hearing aids
  • Metal jewelry, ALL body piercings, watches
  • Pens, paper clips, keys, coins
  • Hair barrettes, hairpins
  • Any article of clothing that has a metal zipper, buttons, snaps, hooks, underwires, or metal threads
  • Shoes, belt buckles, safety pins

What to Expect

Experience one of radiology’s most advanced technologies.

If you have any questions, please ask

Before the MRI procedure, you will be asked to fill out a screening form asking about anything that might create a health risk or interfere with imaging. You will also undergo an interview by a MRI Technologist to ensure that you understand the questions on the form. Even if you have undergone an MRI procedure before at our Boise or Meridian location or even another facility in the Treasure Valley, you will still be asked to complete an MRI screening form.

Examples of items or things that may create a health hazard or other problem during an MRI exam include:

  • Pacemaker
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
  • Neurostimulator
  • Aneurysm clip
  • Metal implant
  • Implanted drug infusion device
  • Foreign metal objects, especially if in or near the eye
  • Shrapnel or bullet wounds
  • Permanent cosmetics or tattoos
  • Dentures/teeth with magnetic keepers
  • Other implants that involve magnets
  • Medication patch (i.e., transdermal patch) that contains metal foil


Check with the MRI technologist or radiologist at the MRI center if you have questions or concerns about any implanted object or health condition that could impact the MRI procedure. This is particularly important if you have undergone surgery involving the brain, ear, eye, heart, or blood vessels. Important Note: If you are pregnant or think that you could be pregnant, you must notify your physician and the radiologist or the MRI technologist at the MRI center prior to the MRI procedure.

Future of MRI


1. What is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)?

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a means of “seeing” inside of the body in order for doctors to find certain diseases or abnormal conditions. MRI does not rely on the type of radiation (i.e., ionizing radiation) used for an x-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan.

The MRI examination requires specialized equipment that uses a powerful, constant magnetic field, rapidly changing local magnetic fields, radiofrequency energy, and dedicated equipment including a powerful computer to create very clear pictures of internal body structures.

During the MRI examination, the patient is placed within the MR system or “scanner”. The powerful, constant magnetic field aligns a tiny fraction of subatomic particles called protons that are present in most of the body’s tissues. Radiofrequency energy is applied to cause these protons to produce signals that are picked up by a receiver within the scanner. The signals are especially characterized using the rapidly changing, local magnetic field and computer-processed to produce images of the body part of interest.

2. What is MRI used for?

MRI has become the preferred procedure for diagnosing a large number of potential problems in many different parts of the body. In general, MRI creates pictures that can show differences between healthy and unhealthy tissue. Doctors use MRI to examine the brain, spine, joints (e.g., knee, shoulder, wrist, and ankle), abdomen, pelvic region, breast, blood vessels, heart and other body parts.

3. How safe is MRI?

Every year, approximately 10 million patients undergo MRI procedures. MRI has been shown to be extremely safe as long as proper safety precautions are taken. In general, the MRI procedure produces no pain and causes no known short-term or long-term tissue damage of any kind.

The powerful magnetic field of the scanner can attract certain metallic objects known as “ferromagnetic” objects, causing them to move suddenly and with great force towards the center of the MR system. This may pose a risk to the patient or anyone in the way of the object. Therefore, great care is taken to prevent ferromagnetic objects from entering the MR system room. It is vital that you remove metallic objects in advance of an MRI exam, including watches, jewelry, and items of clothing that have metallic threads or fasteners.

MRI facilities have screening procedures that, when carefully followed, will ensure that the MRI technologist and radiologist know about the presence of metallic implants and materials so that special precautions can be taken (see below). In some unusual cases the examination may be canceled because of concern related to a particular implant or device.

For example, if an MRI is ordered, it may be canceled if the patient has a ferromagnetic aneurysm clip because of the risk dislodging the clip from the blood vessel. Also, the magnetic field of the scanner can damage an external hearing aid or cause a heart pacemaker to malfunction. If you have a bullet or other metallic fragment in your body there is a potential risk that it could change position, possibly causing injury.

4. Why 3T MRI?

3T MRI provides twice the strength of a 1.5T MRI. Consequently, high resolution images acquired on the 3T MRI provide more information about both structure and function.

For claustrophobic patients, this increased signal can be utilized to scan patients twice as fast. The increased signal and higher tissue contrast of the 3T MRI allows for the improved visualization of microstructures which enables earlier disease detection.

Additionally, newly developed imaging techniques are ideally suited for the 3T MRI and may eliminate the need for gadolinium in certain applications (e.g. non-contrast MRA techniques).

5. What is 3T best used for?

Currently the 3T MRI is utilized for particular neuroimaging and musculoskeletal applications such as:

  • Brain injuries and concussion
  • Epilepsy and brain function
  • Improved preoperative mapping of brain tumors
  • Articular cartilage  periarticular structures
  • Detailed depiction of ligaments, tendons and nerves

3T Uses

6.What is MRI Intravenous (IV) Contrast?

Contrast could be used for your magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure. We currently use Dotarem or Eovist, which are both gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA). Certain MRI exams use this type of contrast to help the doctor see if there are any problems better than an MRI exam without it. Your doctor will determine, after reviewing your medical records, if you would benefit from using contrast with your MRI exam.

Before receiving Dotarem or Eovist, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:

  • Have had MRI procedures with GBCA in the past. Your doctor may ask for more information (i.e., dates)
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • Have had kidney problems, diabetes, or high blood pressure
  • Have had an allergic reaction to dyes (contrast agents) including GBCAs

To learn more, download our medication guides below: