If you’ve had an MRI, how long for MRI results if serious?

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The MRI is for a separate issue, but it’s been 3 weeks since I had the scan and no letter yet. My friend had the same scan at the same place last year and got her results in 2 weeks. I’m wondering, how long for MRI results if serious?

How long for mri results if serious? It depends on the urgency of the scan.

If I requested an emergency MRI for suspected cord compression or cauda equine syndrome, I could reasonably expect a report within a half hour of the scan. Indeed, if I phone up, I could get the provisional results even sooner. Similarly, I might expect the same if I were to request urgent scans for things such as suspected osteomyelitis, or brain lesions.

It depends on the urgency of the scan

It depends on the urgency of the scan

It’s the routine scans which will take longer to report, as emergency work takes immediate priority. They obviously have to be prioritised lower down the list, but are normally reported within a couple days of the scan. In my area, results are normally made available electronically to prevent delays. However, there is always the delay in it being brought to that clinicians attention, or indeed a delay in getting an appointment, particularly if the scan shows nothing abnormal.

Results are normally made available electronically

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Results are normally made available electronically

A further step might be the need for professional discussion. A scan is only as good as the other tests viewed in context – as such, many will go through MDT with pathologists and relevant clinicians to discuss the significance of the images and the plan of action. That in itself can bring a further, though necessary delay in non-life threatening findings.

I don’t think I’ve heard of month long waits around here though, thankfully.

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