MRI: Contraindications

Absolute Contraindications to MRI include:

  • Pulmonary artery monitoring catheters and temporary transvenous pacing leads
  • Intra-aortic balloon pumps
  • Left and right ventricular assist devices
  • Epicardial leads, retained transvenous leads, fractured leads
  • Ferromagnetic vascular clips
  • Metallic foreign body (i.e. shrapnel, metal splinters, welding splinters, bullets, grenade fragments)
  • Spinal cord neurostimulators
  • Claustrophobia
  • Body piercings
  • Vascular access port
  • Implants (i.e. insulin pump, prostheses)

Relative contraindications, (those that depend on the center/experience/location of the MRI sequences obtained/exact type of device/Tesla of the MRI):

  • Cochlear implants
  • Intrauterine contraceptive devices
  • Implanted pacemakers and ICDs are considered a strong relative contraindication
  • Intracranial endovascular clips must have the neurosurgeon’s approval first
  • Endovascular stent grafts depending on the material
  • Tattoo/ permanent make up
  • Renal insufficiency, if expecting to give contrast
  • Tissue expander (i.e. breast)
  • Cardiac valves
  • Joint replacement
  • IVC filters (early within 6 weeks of implantation)


Keyword history




  1. Dill T. Contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging: non-invasive imaging. Heart. 2008 Jul;94(7):943-8.

Defined by:  Sarah Cederholm, MD