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Kidney MRI Scan from £199

A kidney MRI scan can capture images of a specific structure,
organ, or area of the body that is causing the problem.

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Introduction to Kidney Health and MRI Technology

Kidneys are essential organs responsible for filtering blood, removing waste, and regulating vital body functions like fluid balance and hormone production. Despite their critical role, kidney issues are relatively common, with Chronic Kidney Failure (CKF) affecting approximately 2.8 million adults in the UK, many of whom may be unaware of their condition. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) plays a pivotal role in diagnosing various kidney disorders, providing detailed images that help identify the underlying causes of renal dysfunction.

The Importance of MRI in Kidney Diagnostics

An MRI scan is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that uses powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of internal body structures, including the kidneys. This guide will explore how MRI technology is utilized to diagnose kidney conditions, the process of conducting a kidney MRI, and what patients can expect during and after the procedure.

What Does a Kidney MRI Show?

A kidney MRI produces high-resolution images that can help detect a range of conditions:

  • Structural Abnormalities: Including cysts, tumors, and size irregularities.
  • Blood Flow Issues: Such as restrictions in renal arteries or veins.
  • Infections and Inflammations: Identifying areas of swelling or fluid accumulation.
  • Tissue Damage: From acute injuries or chronic diseases.
  • Post-Transplant Complications: Assessing the health of transplanted kidneys.

The scan captures images in three planes—axial, sagittal, and coronal—providing a comprehensive view that is critical for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning.

Detailed Procedure of a Kidney MRI

  • Preparation: Patients may need to change into a hospital gown and remove all metal objects. Some clinics allow patients to wear their own clothing if it's free of metal.
  • Contrast Material: Often, a gadolinium-based contrast agent is administered via IV to enhance image quality. This is especially useful for highlighting blood vessels and differentiating between healthy and diseased tissue.
  • During the Scan: The patient lies on a motorized table that slides into the MRI machine. It's crucial to remain still during the scan to ensure clear images. The procedure typically lasts between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of the images required.
  • Post-Procedure: Patients can usually resume normal activities immediately unless they have been given a sedative.

Why a Urologist Might Recommend an MRI

Urologists may order an MRI for various symptoms indicative of kidney issues:

  • Persistent Pain: In the sides or back that could suggest infections or stones.
  • Urinary Problems: Changes in frequency or appearance of urine.
  • High Blood Pressure: That could be related to renal artery stenosis.
  • Edema: Swelling in the legs and around the eyes, which can indicate poor kidney function.

Potential Findings and Diagnoses

An MRI can reveal:

  • Kidney Stones: Detailed images show the presence, size, and location of stones.
  • Renal Tumors: Differentiating between benign and malignant growths.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease: Visualization of multiple kidney cysts.
  • Acute Kidney Injury: Assessing sudden loss of kidney function.

Safety of MRI and Use of Contrast Material

While MRI is a safe procedure, the use of contrast material requires careful consideration, especially in patients with pre-existing kidney conditions. In rare cases, the contrast material can lead to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, a serious condition. However, modern contrast agents are generally safe, and adverse reactions are infrequent.

Preparing for a Kidney MRI

  • Medical History: Complete disclosure of health history, including any allergies and previous reactions to contrast materials.
  • Metallic Implants: Informing the technician about any implants or metal in the body.
  • Pregnancy: While MRI is safe, it’s prudent to inform the technician if you are pregnant or nursing.

Cost and Accessibility in the UK

The cost of a kidney MRI varies, with private options offering faster appointments than the NHS, often within a few days. Prices can range from £200 to over £500, depending on the facility and specific requirements of the scan.


Understanding the capabilities and process of a kidney MRI is crucial for anyone experiencing symptoms of kidney disorders. This diagnostic tool offers a non-invasive, detailed look at kidney health, enabling early detection and treatment of potential issues. If you’re experiencing symptoms of kidney problems or need a detailed evaluation of your renal health, consider speaking with your healthcare provider about the benefits of an MRI scan.

For further information or to book an appointment, please visit our website or contact our clinic directly. We are committed to providing timely and effective diagnostic services to help you maintain optimal kidney health.


Our expert clinical team will guide you through the process, with a 1-1 consultation, referral, and digital imaging report included in the price of your scan booking.