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A circumstance in which MRIs are simply not done is when the patient has a cardiac pacemaker. This is because the MRI machine’s magnet might disrupt the pacemaker and stop the heart. No image is so necessary and valuable that this risk would be worth taking. Another circumstance in which an MRI is avoided is when the patient is critically ill. An unstable patient can be adequately monitored and supported while receiving a CT scan, but not while receiving an MRI.