The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
Diagnostic Tests - MRI of the Spine
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How long is it before the result of the test is known?

  • MRI images are often recorded on film; if so, it will take at least an hour for the MRI department to develop the images and additional time for a doctor to examine and interpret them. If the images are stored in and displayed by a computer, there is no time required to develop the images, although the doctor's interpretation still takes time. You can probably get preliminary results within a day or two, but the complete results might take four to seven days.

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