MRI and aneurysm coils

Hi all,

I'm wondering if any members have any experience or comments about getting an MRI or being near a machine after implantation of coils or clips?

I have cerebral aneurysm coils, placed in 2009, and work in an x-ray department at a local hospital. I have been given an exciting opportunity to cross-train into Cat Scan and MRI, which use the same staff for both imaging departments.

Although I've done a little research and found out that my coils (which are 92% platinum and 8% tungsten) are safe for the strength of magnetic field put out by the MRI machine at my work, I am absolutely, positively terrified to go near it.

I believe I still suffer from extreme post-traumatic stress from my rupture five years ago and that I'm completely frozen by fear that it will happen again.

I'm so afraid my crippling anxiety will keep me from pursuing this wonderful career advancement opportunity...especially if my employer begins to doubt I am the right person for the job due to my hesitations.

Any insight or feedback would be so appreciated!

Heather Balderson

Anchorage, Alaska

Hi, I have platinum coils that were put in last year. I just had an MRA (MRI) last week, my first. The tech made sure mine were safe first and confirmed mine were good up to 3T. I didn’t have any problems and didn’t feel a thing. But you should always confirm first based on your type of coils. Hope this helps.


I can understand your anxiety. Although platinum is MRI safe to a certain degree, much depends on the location of where the coils are located. For example, my wife has a clip on the ACOM artery fronto temporal area along with four stainless steel sutures mending her skull plates. Her implants have become magnetized and any exposure to electromagnetic fields brings on excruciating headaches due to a physics principal called magnetic induction which in turn amplifies electrical current within the implants and conducted to nearby nerves causing the head pain and migraines. It is important for you to know that platinum is not pure metal and contains trace amounts magnetizable metals. This is why the location of the coil area is important to know. Repeated exposure to electromagnetic environment could start a process similar to that which has occurred in my wife. This is something for you to know and investigate more thoroughly. Unfortunately, the medical community will be of little assistance to ascertain whether repeated exposure will be harmful for you. My concern for you in this situation is the "memory effect" that occurs with metals that have become magnetized and if this occurs in a nerve rich area such as the fronto temporal area you could risk a repeated migraine trigger. Again this is a little understood area of neurological research. If you have any additional questions let me know and I will try to answer as best and honest as I can.


Thank you for the information viv22! I appreciate you sharing. :)

Thank you Ed! This is great information to consider. I'm so sorry to hear your wife has to deal with these horrible migraines after going through the already horrific experience of a brain aneurysm. I'm glad you can share this info with others as a result however.

My coils are in a left posterior communicating artery...unfortunately that's pretty much the extent of info I have about their location in my head.

In some ways I'm almost tempted to just approach the MRI machine and finally have an answer to this crippling anxiety I have about it. But of course this will not be without a great deal of panic.

At least I am now aware of this magnetic induction principle and can research more about it.

Thank you so much again for sharing! Very appreciated!

Take care,

Heather Balderson

Welcome...and, wishes for you to make your right decision...

Seems like those doc specialists would be the ones to discuss it with...they would likely want to know your condition...for your safety... and, for the safety of patients...if your PTSD would / could alter your judgment...

Do you have a neurologist you see re: your PTSD and what have they shared?

Prayers for your right decision...for you and your patients...


I believe that the location as well as the number of coils and whether you have a stent or not is indeed a contributory factor to experiencing weird feelings during and after an MRI. I have a large Basilar tip aneurysm which did not fully rupture, it just leaked a little. Mine was embolized in 2014. I have had a number of MRIs since then and I always feel a little bit wonky for about three or four days following the MRA/MRI procedure. I can tell you that I do not feel the same since I had the embolization and my wife tells me that my behavior is different since then. Following my aneurysm repair I had a good amount of memory loss at least for 4 to 6 months. And I also just never felt right. Your concerns about being around MRI equipment is justified in my opinion. As a matter of fact I had a conversation with one of my physicians today who was Going to have me do an MRI of my shoulder in his office. Once he found out I had 13 coils and a stent in my noggin he changed the testing procedure to another type of test. He shared with me that more and more physicians agree with his belief that MRIs Cause something close to the vibration of the coils which he feels can potentially loosen or damage the repair work. He simply would not permit me to have an MRI there and asked me to stay a good distance away from the area where it is located. He also suggested that I stay a fair distance from any MRI machines, by that he meant at least 100 feet away. I have spoken to the physicians who repaired my aneurysm and they don’t see any problem with having MRIs, but in the future I am going to request that any follow up of my Aneurysm status be done with a CT scanner. I realize that I will receive more radiation due to that but so be it.Overall I am simply grateful to be alive and to have been treated so exceptionally well by my interventional radiologist and neurosurgeon… I wish you the very best of luck and please be safe

My spine Dr wants me to have an MRI and my local hospital won’t do it. I have stent and coils, my Neuro says it’s safe but I have to find another place to go.
Good luck with your job :pray:t3:

I was told that I would not be getting any more MRIs

Your fear is 100% understandable. The coils are rated for Tesla strength of the MRI machines. My surgery as in 1997 and there are still several machines (actually most of them) that are not stronger than my titanium coils and clips. I still have MRIs about every year and should be able to until about 2025. The MRI techs are very careful to be certain that your type of surgical material is strong enough to handle the strength of the magnetic pull in the MRI machine. Like I said, your fear is understandable but with your surgery being just a few years ago I am pretty confident that you are fine to be near MRI machines.
Hope that helps a little.

I live in Scotland. I have 7 coils and only have MRA scans now. I’ve been advised ct and Mri are unsuitable.

I had 80 coils put in 2005, a stent in 2007 , and another stent in 2019. on the carotid in the sinus cavernous area. I have lost track of how many angios, mri, mra and ct scans I have had over the last 15 years. I have never had a problem. i do have to carry a card re my stents in case the tech has questioned if safe. No one has ever asked to see it.
I trust my neuroradiolgist completely, and he has said it is safe. Of course as we all know every aneurysm is different, just like snowflakes.