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    Who reads my MRI scan?

    Posted by John Holden on Tue, Jan 27, 2009

    RadiologistA lot of patients are confused as to who actually interprets their MRI scan (or CT, Ultrasound, X-ray, Mammogram, etc). Many mistakenly assume it's the technologist who performs the exam. Some doctors own their own x-ray equipment and review scans with their patients. But if you've had your test done at a hospital or outpatient Radiology facility it will be read by a Radiologist.

    What is a Radiologist?

    A Radiologist is a doctor (MD) that has specialized in interpreting Radiology tests such as MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Mammogram, DEXA, PET, X-ray, and Nuclear Medicine. Some Radiologists (interventional Radiologists) also do procedures like angiograms and biopsies. It takes 6+ years after medical school to be trained and certified. Like many specialists Radiologists are board certified, in their case by the American Board of Radiology

    What does a Radiologist do with my MRI scan?

    A Radiologist will read your MRI scan images either on film or on a computer screen. They look for abnormal findings and then dictate a report. The report goes to your doctor. If there is anything highly unusual the Radiologist will frequently call your doctor and inform him or her before the report is sent to their office.

    Where is the Radiologist?

    Usually right in the facility where you are getting your test! They read scans in "reading rooms" that have computers and special high end monitors. In some hospitals or outpatient facilities they place IVs for contrast injections. If they are interventional Radiologists, you'll see them during the procedure in the "angio" or "specials" procedure room.

    Why don't I get results directly from the Radiologist?

    The Radiologist may not be aware of all of the issues of your medical care. Although they read MRI scans, which are integral to planning your treatment, detailed discussion and options are handled by your primary care doctor or your specialist.

    Is there anything else you'd like to learn about Radiologists? Please leave your comments below.

    Tags: ,


    I had pneumonia for 2 weeks with a fever. 2 xrays showed the pneumonia wasn't getting better so my dr. sent me for a ct. I only have 1 kidney (donated to my husband) so dye wasn't supposed to be used. The radioligist called me back and told me if he wasn't satisfied with the picture he wanted my permission to use dye.I gave it. After the ct he called me back and told me I had cancer in my right bottom lobe and that it had spread to the lymph nodes and that he had done this for 22 years he knows what he is talking about. After sitting for 5 days thinking I was going to die and then having surgery to possibly remove my lung it turns out this man was wrong!! I had a fungus.Why did this happen? I feel he way over stepped his bounds.

    posted @ Friday, September 04, 2009 10:09 PM by MONICA MALONEY

    My general physician ordered an MRI of my brain on a thursday at an outpatient pavillion. I did not see anyone reading my MRI besides the tech that was performing it. My question is: If something is really wrong would they inform me immediately or send me to the hospital? It is now Sunday and I haven't heard back yet. Thanks

    posted @ Sunday, January 24, 2010 11:42 AM by Dave

    Dave, I don't know whats worse, being told you have lung cancer by a radiologist or the wait for your dr.s call. I would have surely called my dr by now if I was you. I feel that had I been a weak person and didn't want to deal with chemo and killed myself (which the thought did cross my mind) that radiologist would not be practicing today. I still wonder if I should have sued. Things have changed at that hospital-notes are sent home now saying your doctor will call you. I did not nor have I yet recieved an apology from the radiologist or the hospital president. Just a few weeks ago I had a pulminary specialist say an apology was way in order! Whats a person to do?

    posted @ Tuesday, January 26, 2010 12:17 PM by Monica Maloney

    Because of a mix up with appointments with the mri clinic and the orthopaedic clinic I had to pay for an mri scan (£450) so that the consultant would have it on his screen. Now I am informed that this might not happen as I have to see the registrar and reschedule the consultant. I have been in acute pain for three months now and thought things were about to get moving. I am so disalusioned.

    posted @ Monday, April 19, 2010 9:40 AM by MARGARET

    my mri scan on the brain was 2 days ago now, im just abit concerned i cant get an answer anywhere online so hoping someone can help me out here! lol! my question is, why did the radiologist call in a doctor whilst i was being scanned? iv had a brain scan when i was 10 but was put asleep came back fine, iv also had a breast mri scan but no doc was called in? should i be worrying myself over nothing? they just abit concerned that i had deja vu ALOT ! thanks Charley

    posted @ Thursday, September 02, 2010 9:55 AM by charlotte_lou1989

    Hi Charlotte, 
    Do you mean your doctor was called by the Radiologist? Or that the Radiologist came into the scan room or talked to the technologist who was performing the scan? If the latter, which I suspect, the Radiologist (the MD in the imaging facility) was probably called to help guide acquiring images. This happens quite frequently.

    posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 4:11 AM by Ravi Sohal

    yyes the doctor was called in whilst i was in the scanning room. i would of heard back by now surely as its been 3 days - if something was found that is - so is that normal then? thanks charlotte

    posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 4:36 AM by charlotte

    It's hard to say. I would try to follow up with your doctor and find out the results of the test.

    posted @ Saturday, September 04, 2010 5:49 AM by Ravi Sohal

    i went for a MRI - Brain & Neck. It Wasnt 40 Min Later and My Doctors Office Is Calling Me To set Up A Appt to go Over The results. should i be concerned about my results since the call came so fast?

    posted @ Thursday, January 06, 2011 6:37 PM by Jana

    Had a bone scan which indicated metastatic deposit possible on T7. Next had a MRI scan which said T6 was suspect and T10 possibly. The comments say a CT scan is needed to confirm/negate suspected tumor on T6, T10. Three scans to determine if I have any metastatic lesions? Suggested I start a clinical trial immediately (MDV3100-03) and have a Zomeda infusion (extracts excess calcium from blood) ASAP? Second opinion needed? Is another CT scan reasonable? 
    Comments please.

    posted @ Friday, January 21, 2011 4:47 AM by David

    my MRI result shows DDD, OPLL,and myelomalacia,I took the MRI DVD to the neusergeon and he said there is no myelomalacia or opll . could one of them made a mistake.I am still having grade 8-10 pain all the time.

    posted @ Monday, April 11, 2011 9:17 AM by kemraj sukhnandan

    I got my results from MRI from my foot: 
    No abnormality of fibulaires tendons, posterior tibial tendon, calcaneal tendon. No abnormality of the big plantar ligament.  
    At the bone level, we shall note hyper one signal witness of an interesting bone intra oedema cuboid.  
    The joint space enters the 4th metatarsus, cuboid, the 5th metatarsus and cuboid are pinched.  
    Inflammation of the joint space and the significant bone oedema of cuboid (trauma? inflammatory lesion?) 
    Can somebody tell me more what this means?  
    I got medication now:  
    Indomethacin 50 mg  
    I have to come to the surgeon in the hospital for more info and advise, but maybe somebody can tell me more already? 
    Thanks in advance,

    posted @ Sunday, April 17, 2011 11:06 AM by Maartje

    what happens when your doctor does not agree with the MRI Radiologist??? who do i beleive?

    posted @ Monday, June 27, 2011 6:09 PM by Mary

    Hi, I had MRI scan for leg injury. The result "confirm that there is an ACL tear as well as a tear to the medial meniscus". But neither the physio and Ortho consultant want to read the image with me then point and explain to me the extent of the damages. Is it because they do not know how to read the image and only rely on the Radiologist's report? Thanks.

    posted @ Thursday, July 14, 2011 3:18 AM by Nancy

    I recently had a head ct because i went to the er with tia symptoms. I was released after what i thought was a tia(decreased consciousness, tremors, migraine, nausea, numbness, slurred speech when able to talk, jaw pain, spiking blood pressure)and vitals returned to normal: diagnosed anxiety. I went and picked up my ct and on the results it said possible arachnoid cyst 1cm? I was not informed of this. I have been also having lots of leg pain and chest pressure recently. Is it possible that an arachnoid cyst could be misinterpreted as a little blood clot? Been having several neurological episodes with no explanation other than being diagnosed with anxiety. I am not an anxious person and had no reason to be before this happened. I am beginning to have anxiety as trying to find out what is wrong is costing me a thousands of dollars and I have been having this problem for 1 month now and I am started to be treated like I am a psycho. I had an mri yesterday morning and today was told it was 100% normal? I am starting to get really frustrated. I am thinking about going to the nearest large city for a second opinion from someone unaffiliated with this small town hospital but I do not know how to go about doing this. Can anyone help? I also would like to note that my mri was performed in less way less than an hr with and without contrast, the with contrast was taken immediately after dye was injected and took 2min? This just doesn't seem right to me?

    posted @ Thursday, April 05, 2012 6:54 PM by jess

    A orimary care doc does not read film they only go by the written report and or the phone call" I am suffering not abe to have a radiologist go over the films with me ?Not important before or after they recieve the result I AM a artist and visual, I have concernes and I honestly ,have made correction ,things a NYC hospital missed on my MRI. PLEASE HOW can I GET SOME ONE TO review,with me so THAT I may stop this never ending worry! please some one must be able to explain what I know I SEE. 6 years have studied... the cyts is a Lymphode that doc did not diagnose me,, my current one did I have SS.....sugar and Hypo,thyroid,my thymus is enlarged,and Lungs scarred ,steroids daily inhaled I am 52 female,I neeD HELP please NJ USA.....

    posted @ Tuesday, January 01, 2013 1:58 AM by linda

    Hi there,I had an MRI yesterday afternoon then sent home.then this morning I was called back and asked to had a second MRI with contrast dye. Then sent directly for an X-ray of my left shoulder/blade but was not informed why I needed a second MRI or an X-ray??? Would anyone know why I would need to go for a second MRI???

    posted @ Sunday, January 13, 2013 4:05 PM by Stacy

    hi, i had a mri scan 2 weeks ago now and still haven't had my results, i phoned my consultants secretary to find out if they were bk, they have come back but doctor on holiday so can't get them for another 2 weeks, surely theres someone who can give me my results for a complex ovarian cyst, the wait is driving me mad...

    posted @ Wednesday, January 30, 2013 7:43 PM by sambo

    I recently had mri done on silicone breast implants to check for leaks or any other issues. And the result read saline breast implants were clearly visualized, and now radiology is telling, they are just what ever I think they are. Instead of telling why they said saline in first place. Please anyone kno what I should do? will 2nd look at mri disk help?

    posted @ Monday, February 11, 2013 11:22 AM by Shelia

    Hi I had an MRI scan November 2012,it's now June 2013 and received a letter saying an app has been made for me August of this year,I rang up and I was told it was for my resaults!!after all this time I thought it must've been clear,I am now in a total panic thinking all sorts and gave to wait for 3 months,am I panacking ova nothing is this normal does anybody know on here?? Thanx

    posted @ Tuesday, June 11, 2013 11:25 AM by Beci

    I have had an MRI scan on my knee a few days ago. I received a DVD of the results in the post who do I take it to get it looked at and get my results ?

    posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:41 PM by Matthew bundy

    Hi everyone, I had an MRI of my lumbar spine due to back, hip, and lower leg pain. It came back normal. Then, due to shoulder pain, I had an x -ray of my neck. It came back showing regenerative disc disease and arthritis. What are the chances of having these two conditions in my cervical spine, and my lumbar being normal? Could the radiologist have perhaps been in a hurry?

    posted @ Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:50 PM by Jill

    I have been going to the same facility for almost 9 years during these years i have been having alot of back problems,and have had 2 MRIS the doctor that was there at the time i had the first one said there was alot wrong with my back,let me remind you for the first 6 years i never knew what doctor i would see,they had so many fly by doctors,the second mri there was very little my doctor read off of it to do you find out without causing in disruptions,if your primary care doctor is qualified to interpet image reports also view x-rays accurately 

    posted @ Saturday, July 05, 2014 8:42 AM by janice

    Hi. I'm a 49 year old female with a complicated health history. I've had multiple misread ct and mri scans. It happens, people are human. But because it happens so much in the last 7 years at one sight, I'm transferring to another, my health is very complicated and technical. One slip up puts me back years in time and wasted energy.  
    I see something on a scan from a year ago around my pituitary. Multiple SENs and others benign masses were found but none mentioned the pituitary. When I pick up the disk, is it within polite and professional boundaries to ask the radiologist if he or she has a second to tell me what it is I'm seeing on the frame? Is that something the doctor needs to ask them? 
    I'm not second guessing them. I've had so many reports with obvious problems just not mentioned for whatever reasons.

    posted @ Saturday, August 02, 2014 12:47 PM by Christal La Fountain

    Don't hold your hope 's up to high i know what my MRI says but try getting a surgeon to let you know exactly what it is they need to do to help you out that's another story altogether Health system getting worse

    posted @ Tuesday, September 16, 2014 1:38 AM by mark healey

    I am in need of someone to compare 2 mri's. Who would I contact? No family dr. To give report to, can I just get results?

    posted @ Wednesday, October 01, 2014 2:45 PM by Kathy

    I had an x-ray for cervical spine trauma the writen report said it went to the c7/t1 but the actual x-ray only shows to c6 and part of c7 can I get someone to read the x-ray again ?

    posted @ Wednesday, November 19, 2014 2:13 PM by Tracy Lemanski

    I had an MRI on my knee, paid nearly $600, told to wait and given a disc. I assumed there was a report and photos on the disc. My GP who told me to come back after the MRI only to find that their computers can't read the disc, the same as most GP's. I then phoned my physiotherapist who said they can't read the disc either. So what's the point of giving patients the disc to take to their appointment when the reality is the answer is in the written report that will come in time?

    posted @ Thursday, February 12, 2015 10:02 PM by Anders Burden

    ok so I worked at a hosp for 9yrs +. I was walking them floors sometimes 16hr days. I began having troubles out of my left kneevand ankle. my doc sent me for an MRI IN august 2011, the tech guy(whom knew me because we worked there) told me "i can see why ur in such pain, u have bakers cysts behind your knee". He showed me the masses of cysts and arthritis and it just looked awful. I even cried during the MRI,and yall kno they don't hurt. but my leg was just excruciating. well one week later , follow up visit with my doc, he said, "theres nothing to worry about, lil fluid, but nothing tramatic. nothing to worry about. One week later, I got "relieved of my duties at the hosp. they claimed it was just part of the "down sizing of employees" well for these past yrs ive been trying to hold a job down but I cannot stand on my leg consecutively longer than an hour or less. the pain is unbearable. (management jobs at depat stores). I lost 3 in 3 weeks. so I had to switch o doin home health, at least then I can sit when needed. ive been telling my doc for these past few yrs I really think I need another MRI. he kept saying "i kno its nothing to worry about, besides, u don't have insurance any more. so 3 months ago I finally signed up for a policy I could afford. my doc ordered another MRI from a different hosp. this time he sent me a letter needing to see me ASAP. first thing out of his mouth is. "omg, your entire knee is DESTROYED!". THIS IS TORN, THAT IS BROKEN, THAT CANNOT BE FIXED, THIS PART IS INOPERABLE ETC ETC" I am scared to death. im only 43. he pretty much let me kno "go sign up for disability. " I was in tears all day. I still cant help but wonder, "the 1st MRI in august 2011, was read and written wrong by the radiologist. and is this why I was "released of my job? did they kno they had to take some respnsibilty? ive worked very lightly on my feet after I lost them 3 other jobs because of pain. I think it was already "destroyed" back then. can I get another radiologist reread my MRI? I have the original disc. and does anyone kno if this is possibly a case of "malpractice?" like possibly 4yrs ago actions could have been taken if the MRI was read right to possibly make it not DESTROYED now? anyone with knowledge to help? please and thank you

    posted @ Tuesday, April 14, 2015 11:51 PM by crystal craig

    I wanted to know how much does a radiologist earn a year? 
    What qualifications do I need in high school in order to take the course?

    posted @ Thursday, June 04, 2015 5:20 AM by Ahmed

    I have ddd and lupus, I have a fusion at c45 and c56. My doctor ordered a MRI for neck pain. I now have herniations at c34 c23. Now on my film from my scan it says lesion,MS,Myelopathy at Ax\T2. But the report itself mentions nothing of this? My mother had MS.

    posted @ Thursday, June 25, 2015 4:57 PM by Laurenne

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