MRI arthrography is an imaging study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This exam demonstrates more detail of the interior of the joint than standard MRI. The dye that is injected into the joint is clear with a water-like consistency.
Although MRI without contrast is quite useful in many cases, certain joints and certain problems require injecting contrast into the joint, as in your case. Your doctor feels that the MRI arthrogram is one way to obtain information and images of the area of concern. The information obtained during this procedure will help guide future treatment options, and may also be used to keep tabs on a condition that you already have and are perhaps being treated for.
In some patients iodine can cause allergic reactions, ranging from mild nausea to severe cardiovascular or nervous system complications. Since the contrast dye is put into a joint, rather than into a vein, allergic reactions are rare. Infection or joint damage are possible, although not frequent, complications of arthrogram.
Please call your ordering doctor in advance of your exam if you need to reschedule or if you answer “yes” to any of these questions:
You may leave the department right after your MRI. Restrict yourself to light activity the rest of the day. You may resume normal activities the next day. Your joints may be stiff or sore the next day, but this should get better in one or two days. If you have significant pain after the test, please contact us or your referring doctor right away. A rare, but possible problem is joint infection, which should be treated right away.
The findings from your test are reviewed and interpreted by the radiologist. These results will be given to your referring doctor, who will share them with you during your follow-up visit.