How Long Does it Take To Get MRI Results?

When you undergo an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan, the wait for results can feel nerve-wracking. You might wonder, “How long does it take to get MRI results?” The time frame can vary based on several factors. Let’s discuss the process to understand the typical duration and factors influencing the time it takes to receive your MRI results.

What is an MRI?

Before diving into result timelines, let’s discuss what an MRI is?  MRI is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the internal structures of the body. It helps in diagnosing various conditions such as injuries, tumors, infections, and more.

Factors Affecting MRI Result Timeframes

Several aspects influence the time taken to receive your MRI results:

Type of MRI Scan:

Different types of MRI scans exist, including brain MRIs, spinal MRIs, and joint MRIs, among others. The area being scanned can affect result turnaround time.

Facility and Equipment:

The efficiency of the facility conducting the MRI and the technology used play a crucial role. Advanced equipment and experienced professionals can expedite the imaging process.

Radiologist’s Interpretation:

Once the MRI is complete, a radiologist interprets the images. The complexity of the scan and the workload of the radiologist can impact the time it takes for them to analyze and report the findings.

Urgency of Results:

In certain cases, such as emergencies or critical health concerns, the healthcare provider might prioritize the interpretation and delivery of MRI results, aiming for a quicker turnaround time.

Typical Timeframe for MRI Results

On average, patients can expect to receive their MRI results within a day to a week after the scan. However, this can vary widely based on the factors mentioned earlier.

  • Urgent Cases: In emergency situations or cases requiring immediate attention, healthcare providers may expedite the process, aiming to deliver results within hours or within the same day.
  • Routine Cases: For non-urgent or routine scans, patients often receive results within a few days. The radiologist reviews the images to provide an accurate diagnosis.

What to Expect After the MRI

After completing the MRI scan, the waiting period begins. Patients should communicate with their healthcare provider regarding the anticipated timeframe for receiving the results. Some facilities provide access to online portals where patients can view their reports once they are available.

Patient’s Role in Expedited Results

While the MRI facility and healthcare providers manage the imaging process, patients can contribute to expediting the result delivery:

  • Follow-Up: Contact your healthcare provider to ensure they are aware of any urgency regarding the results. This helps in prioritizing your case if necessary.
  • Provide Accurate Information: Ensure that all necessary information, such as medical history or previous imaging results, are available to facilitate the interpretation process.


The time it takes to get MRI results varies based on multiple factors, including the type of scan, facility efficiency, radiologist interpretation, and urgency. Generally, patients can expect results within a days to a week. Staying informed about the process and staying in touch with healthcare providers can aid in expediting the result delivery.  Remember, while waiting for your MRI results might be anxiety-inducing, it’s essential to allow adequate time for accurate interpretation.

Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.

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