How Long Does It Take To Get MRI Results Back?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to generate detailed images of the inside of the body. It is commonly used to diagnose and monitor various conditions, including neurological disorders, musculoskeletal injuries, and tumors. One common question that arises when undergoing an MRI is how long it takes to receive the results. In this article, we will explore the typical timeframe for receiving MRI results and answer some frequently asked questions.

The time it takes to get MRI results back can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the scan and the availability of radiologists to interpret the images. In general, the following timeline can be expected:

1. Scan Completion: After the MRI scan is completed, the images are stored digitally and analyzed by a radiologist.

2. Radiologist Interpretation: The radiologist carefully examines the images and prepares a report detailing their findings.

3. Report Generation: Once the radiologist has completed their analysis, a written report is generated.

4. Delivery to Physician: The report is then sent to the referring physician, who will review the findings and discuss them with the patient.

The entire process of receiving MRI results usually takes a few days to a week. However, it is essential to understand that this timeframe can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the urgency of the medical condition being investigated.


1. Can I receive the MRI results immediately after the scan?
No, immediate results are not typically provided. The images need to be analyzed by a radiologist, and a comprehensive report is generated.

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2. Can I get the MRI results on the same day?
In some cases, if the MRI facility has an on-site radiologist, it may be possible to receive preliminary results on the same day. However, a final report may still take a few days.

3. Can I request a copy of the MRI images?
Yes, you can request a copy of the images on a CD or DVD for personal records or to share with other healthcare providers.

4. How will I receive the MRI results?
The results are usually sent directly to the referring physician, who will discuss them with you during a follow-up appointment.

5. What if I need urgent results?
If your condition requires urgent attention, the radiologist may prioritize the report, and you may receive the results sooner.

6. Can I access my MRI results online?
Some healthcare systems offer online patient portals where you can view your medical records, including MRI results. Check with your healthcare provider for access options.

7. Can I get a copy of the report without seeing a physician?
Typically, MRI reports are provided to the referring physician, who will review and discuss the findings with you. However, you can request a copy for personal records if desired.

8. How long does it take for the physician to receive the MRI results?
Physicians usually receive the MRI report within a few days to a week, depending on the workload of the radiology department.

9. What if my physician does not contact me with the results?
If you have not heard from your physician within a reasonable timeframe, it is advisable to contact their office to inquire about the status of your MRI results.

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In conclusion, the timeframe for receiving MRI results varies but generally takes a few days to a week. The process involves the completion of the scan, radiologist interpretation, report generation, and delivery to the referring physician. If you have any concerns or questions about your MRI results, it is best to consult with your healthcare provider for further guidance and clarification.