Unless a patient is getting IV sedation, an IV is only started if:
- The MRI is ordered with IV contrast
- There is a clinical indication, or
- The radiologist recommends it.
IV contrast used in an MRI is called gadolinium. It is not an iodinated contrast, so patients will not get a warm, flush feeling that is often associated with receiving contrast during an x-ray or CT scan. In fact, some patients feel a little coolness when receiving MRI contrast because the fluid is stored at room temperature, not body temperature. Unless a patient has renal insufficiency, there are very few side effects with gadolinium.