Preparing For Your Test

Your doctor and/or your imaging provider will provide you with specific instructions about how to prepare for your test. General preparation instructions are listed by modality below.

If you are pregnant, have a pacemaker or other implanted device, or have special considerations that you would like to discuss prior to your test, please call the facility where your test will be performed.



Because of the potentially harmful effects associated with all metallic objects in a magnetic field, you should check with your physician or MRI Technologist if you have:

  • Pacemaker
  • Ear implants
  • Surgical staples
  • Neuro-stimulator
  • Aneurysm clip(s)
  • Implanted drug infusion devices
  • Worked as a welder or grinder of metal
  • Loop recorders
  • Dermal piercings
  • Magnetic eyelashes
  • Magnetic mascara
  • Eye piercings
  • Insulin pumps
  • Colonoscopy clips
  • Detached retina clips
  • Defibrillators
  • Medication patches
  • Penile implants/implanted birth control devices

Do not wear any exercise or sports clothing containing copper fibers or other metallic fibers.

With some examinations, an injection into a vein is required. The MRI technologist will explain the procedure further is your exam requires this.


In advance of your exam, please inform your radiologist or technologist if you:

  • Have had a previous adverse reaction to iodine contrast injection
  • Have renal disease
  • Are over 60
  • Have asthma and use an inhaler 2 or more times per day
  • Are diabetic and taking glucOphage

If you are or think you may be pregnant, please tell your doctor or a patient representative before your test.

Patients receiving injections: clear liquids 4 hrs. prior to the exam.


For Pregnancy or Pelvic Examinations:

  • Please make sure you eat before your exam.
  • Your bladder must be full for this examination. Drink at least 32 ounces of liquid one hour prior to your examination. We recommend you avoid caffeinated beverages.
  • Please do not urinate until after your examination is completed. If you are very uncomfortable, please notify our staff when you arrive.
  • Allow 45-50 minutes for the examination.

Abdominal Examinations:

  • Nothing by mouth after midnight.
  • Allow 45-60 minutes for the examination.

Kidney Examination

  • Drink 20 ounces of water one full hour before your examination.

Examination of any other part of the body:

    • No special preparation is required.


For most X-rays, no special preparation is required, however the following tests also use x-ray and do require you to follow the preparation instructions prior to your test:

An Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray of the kidneys, ureters and bladder taken after a dye is injected into a vein.

Special instructions:

  • Drink four 8-ounce glasses of water between 1:00 pm and 10:00 pm the day BEFORE your exam
  • NPO after midnight or only clear liquids 4 hrs. prior to test.
  • You may also take medication with water, as prescribed by your physician.

A Barium Enema is a special x-ray of the large intestine, which includes the colon and rectum. During this procedure, barium sulfate is injected into the colon.

Special instructions:

  • DAY BEFORE EXAM:  Clear liquid diet 24 hrs. prior to exam. At 5:00 pm drink Citrate of Magnesia (10 oz).  NPO after midnight.
  • DAY OF EXAM: Clear liquids only. Take (2) enemas one (1) hr. apart prior to exam.
  • If you have a colostomy or ileostomy bag then just 24 hrs. liquid diet, no Citrate of Magnesia or enemas.
  • The exam cannot be done for 48 hrs. after an incomplete colonoscopy and has a history of polyps or biopsy done during colonoscopy.

Upper GI Series and Esophagrams are a series of x-rays of the esophagus. The x-rays are taken after the patient drinks a barium solution.

Special instructions:

  • DAY BEFORE EXAM: Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

If you are or think you may be pregnant, please tell your doctor or a patient representative before your test.


When preparing for a PET examination:

  • Do not consumer anything except water for 6 hours prior to exam.
  • Generally, you should limit the amount of sugar and caffeine on the day before the scan.
  • Please inform us if you are or think you may be pregnant or are a diabetic.

I 123 Thyroid Scan/Uptake

  • For 4 weeks before exam, no radiology contrast agents.
  • For 4 weeks before exam, no Synthetic Thyroid Hormone.
    (Thyroxin, Triodothyronine, Levothyroxime (Synthroid, Levothroid, Unithyroid), Liothyronine (Cytomel), Conbination Products (Euthyroid, Proloid, Thyrolar))
  • For 2 weeks before exam, no iodine containing products.
    (Kelp, Agar, Carageen, Lugol’s Solution, SSKI, Topical Iodine)
  • For 3 days before exam, no anti-thyroid medications.
    (Propylthiouracil (PTU), Methimazole (Tapozole), Carbimazole)

Hepatobilary Scan

  • Patient to have fatty meal the night before the exam.
  • No food or drink 6 hours before the exam.
  • No opiates for 6-8 hours before the exam.

Stress (Nuclear) Test

  • No food after midnight the day of the test.
  • No coffee 12 hours before the test.
  • Take medication by ordering doctors recommendation.

Bone and other scans

  • No special instructions.

If you are or think you may be pregnant, please tell your doctor or a patient representative before your test.