St. James’s Private Radiology
James's St, Dublin 8
Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
St. James’s Hospital is unique amongst Irish Hospitals in having three state-of-the-art 1.5T diagnostic MRI scanners in the radiology department. Additionally, a 3Tesla state-of-the-art MRI system has been installed in CAMI (the Centre for Advanced Medical Imaging), a joint SJH-TCD research initiative. The 3T scanner is also used for diagnostic purposes and allows SJH radiology to offer the same standard of MRI as would be available in large world-class hospitals abroad. The availability of MR imaging across standard and 3T platforms affords our patients access to optimal MR protocols and in those areas where 3T is of proven superiority (e.g. prostate cancer detection and staging, brain imaging and musculoskeletal imaging), patients are triaged accordingly.
All MRI imaging is available for Consultant and GP referral and many studies are covered by the various insurance providers. All MR imaging can be given to patients on disc for further review.
An MRI scan uses water protons in your body to produce diagnostic images. No ionising radiation is involved in MRI and imaging of almost every structure in the body can be performed. St James’s Private Radiology has 4 MRI systems that provide cutting edge images including 3T MRI for cancer staging. Most studies do not require preparation and take approximately 20-30 minutes for the scan to be performed.
Some types of MRI scan will involve an injection of intravenous contrast (or dye) into a cannula (or line) arm in your arm. It is important for us to know your kidney function prior to administering intravenous contrast and we may need a copy of recent kidney function tests.
Most MRI appointments can be facilitated with 3-5 days of referral. Urgent requests can be performed on the same day. A referral letter from your doctor is required when the scan is booked. To make an appointment please see our contact section
MRI is an excellent imaging test to assess the spine and joints for chronic pain, instability and trauma. We use a high-resolution 3T MRI scanner to perform our musculoskeletal imaging which gives outstanding image quality. All joints and spine can be assessed and the imaging is reported by specialist trained musculoskeletal Radiologists. Patient preparation is generally not required.
Certain joints are best imaged after contrast (dye) is injected into the joint. This type of MRI is called an arthrogram and is performed upon request.
MRI has revolutionised our ability to image the brain over the past two decades and we offer state of the art imaging on our 3T MRI system. A wide variety of symptoms can be assessed including headaches, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), strokes and suspected brain tumours. Patient preparation is generally not required.
MRI of the heart is performed in conjunction with our Cardiologists and by Consultant referral only. Perfusion MRI can also be performed to assess cardiac function. A full list of cardiac medication is required at the time of booking.
MRI of the abdomen can be used to assess the liver, biliary system (MRCP), kidneys and pancreas for abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver function tests and to stage tumours. MRI of the small bowel is performed to assess Crohn’s disease and chronic abdominal pain. Some of these tests require patient preparation and our team can advise you further.
St James’s Hospital is the largest cancer centre in Ireland and we pride ourselves on using MRI to improve staging of almost every type of cancer. We also perform all MRI imaging for the St Luke’s Radiation Oncology centre. MRI of prostate, rectal, cervical, uterine, ovarian, pancreas, kidney, liver, myeloma and head and neck cancer is performed. We have specialists protocols and use a 3T MRI system to optimize cancer staging and enable informed treatment decisions. Some of these MRIs require patient preparation and intravenous contrast (dye) and our team will advise you further.
We have worked closely with our Gynaecology colleagues to develop specialist protocols to assess pelvic pain and infertility in women. This includes dedicated sequences to assess endometriosis and pelvic masses. Pelvic floor MRI is also performed. Some of these MRIs require patient preparation and our team will advise you further.