MRI Scan Without and With Dye - Lumbar Spine

This test uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the lower spine.




This test uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the lower spine.



A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the lumbar or lower spine is a test that uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the lower spine, including the bones (vertebrae), discs, and spinal cord.

  • One of the most frequent reasons to order an MRI of the lumbar spine would be to find the cause of persistent (> 6 weeks) back and/or leg pain.
  • An MRI can detect tumors, herniated discs, and pressure on the spinal cord from a number of different medical problems.

MRI machines use powerful magnets, so tell your health care provider if you have any metal or medical devices in your body.

  • You must lie still during the exam, because moving could blur the images.
  • You will be given a contrast dye through a line in a vein in your arm or hand.
  • If you are pregnant and your health care provider feels an MRI would give helpful information, he or she may order this test. Be sure to talk about the benefits and risks of the test with your health care provider.
  • An MRI can take up to an hour, but newer machines may be much faster.

The costs for this test include the charge for the test (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing or interpreting the test). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.

What should I ask my health care provider before having this test?

  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What is my diagnosis and the reason for the test? Are the test results likely to change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?
  • Are there any less expensive, but effective, alternatives to my getting this test?Remind your health care provider if there are any metal(s) or medical device(s) in your body.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

MRI Scan Without and With Dye - Lumbar Spine
MRI Scan
MRI Lower Spine Without and With Contrast
Lower Spine MRI Without and With Dye


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