Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for Children

MRI is a special type of picture. Pediatric MRIs are done with the use of a large magnet and radio waves like the kind that you hear on your favorite radio station. The combination of a computer, radio waves, and a magnet produces very clear images of body structures such as the brain and the spine. The MRI scanner looks like a large box with an open tunnel running through the middle. Your child will be able to watch a movie, listen to the radio or play a favorite CD wile the scan is being performed. While the pictures are taken, they will hear some loud noises, but nothing will touch or hurt your child. Millions of patients have had MRIs and the MRI for children has proved extremely safe.

Since it is important for the child to hold very still during the pediatric MRI procedure, your doctor may order some sedation (medicine to make your child sleepy).


To make an appointment or pre-register by telephone, please call (305) 663-8413 or you can also pre-register online here.

In 1985, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, had the first MR unit in the city of Miami, and was the first MR facility in the United States dedicated to pediatrics. In 1998 we became the first MR unit in Miami to offer functional MRIs or fMRI. This facility is also the only one in Miami equipped with an MR compatible VCR with computerized feed that allows patients to view movies or their own VCR tapes while undergoing the examination.

In 2002, as the largest provider of pediatric MRI services in south Florida, the Radiology Department of Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, built a new state-of-the-art MRI center. New Pediatric MRI devices, along with additional ultrasound imaging services have since been available within this new 10,000 square foot building. In addition, the facility provides a separate entrance for easy outpatient access.

The services included in this new facility are:

  • Bolus Track: MRI fluroscopy for contrast enhanced studies
  • Mobitrack: Moving table for extended body MR-Angiograms
  • Neuro Imaging: Faster high resolution protocols. fMRI allows you to map brain task-related regions prior to surgery
  • Cardiac Imaging: Fast imaging and reconstruction allows for heart imaging
  • Sense (Imaging Technique): Allows 77 frames/sec for cardiac studies and breath-hold abdominal studies
  • Navigator Pulse (Imaging Technique): Reduces heart motion and motion from breathing for cardiac studies
  • Pediatric Head and Spine Coil: Allows for two exams in one seating for tumor sceening
  • MRS: Spectroscopy and multivoxel spectroscopy. Measures a variety of metabolites in the brain tissue
  • Expanded Sedation and Recovery Areas

In 2004, as a response to meet the growing needs of pediatric imaging services in Broward County, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, expanded its MRI service to the Dan Marino Center, becoming the first MRI service in Broward County exclusively for children. The service, provided on a short-bore General Electric 1.5 Tesla scanner utilizing the same protocols being used at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, are read by our team of pediatric radiologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital via a high speed network connection.
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Pediatric Radiology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital
Take an in-depth tour of the Department of Radiology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.