Chest MRI

Chest MRI uses powerful radio frequencies, magnetic fields, and a computer to generate detailed images of structures within the chest and soft-tissue masses on the chest wall. This exam can provide exceptionally detailed images used to assess abnormal masses such as cancer, blood flow, lung problems, and abnormal lymph nodes. Sometimes doctors will order a chest MRI to explain results of previous imaging tests such as chest X-rays or CT scans. During imaging, you will be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time to ensure good quality images.


For this procedure, you will be moved into the MRI machine head-first, on your back. If you are claustrophobic, please consult with your doctor to see if they recommend that you take anti-anxiety medication before your exam.


Alberta Health Services does not cover private MRI services outside of the hospital. The cost of a chest MRI ranges from $725 to $975, depending on the need for contrast.

The need for contrast is determined by the radiologist at the time of imaging and is impacted by specific patient history. If the radiologist feels contrast is required for a proper diagnosis, your chest MRI will cost $975. If contrast is not required, your MRI will cost $725.


A chest MRI exam typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. The technologist, who can hear and see you during the exam, will provide you with an emergency button so you can communicate with them throughout the procedure.

Exam Preparation

Being prepared for your chest MRI helps us take the best possible images for diagnosis. Please visit our exam prep page for more instructions specific to chest MRI preparation.