We are proud to be the first in Monterey County to offer Siemens MAGENTOM Skyra 3T MRI technology and the only Siemens MAGENTOM Espree 1.5T Open-Bore MRI.


Our Skyra 3T MRI means faster scans, higher resolution images, and better performance for even the most complex exams for the brain, spine and musculoskeletal system.  The Skyra 3T MRI also offers a wider bore increasing comfort for patients. The Espree Open-Bore MRI offers a wider bore and a shorter magnet, this more spacious bore relieves the anxiety of claustrophobic patients.

All our imaging centers are fully accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR), including MRI of the head, spine, body, musculoskeletal (MSK) and magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA). MRI accreditation demonstrates excellence in the qualifications of personnel, quality control programs, MR safety policies and image quality specific to MRI. Click here to learn more about why ACR accreditation matters to you.

What is MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnet, low-intensity radio waves, and computer technology to create detailed images of your body. MRI is primarily used for imaging soft tissues in the body, including the brain, nerves, muscles and organs. MRI is a painless procedure that uses no x-rays or ionizing radiation.

The magnetic field of the MRI aligns the proton particles in your body, allowing a radio wave antenna to send and receive signals to and from your body. A powerful computer converts these returning signals into 3D images, which your radiologist then reviews and interprets.

Not all MRI technology is equal. At Salinas Valley Imaging and Coastal Valley Imaging Centers, we rely on only the most advanced Siemens technology to evaluate our patients.

Coastal Valley Imaging’s MRI program is led by an internationally renowned MRI specialist, Dr. F. Scott Pereles, formerly the head of MRI at Northwestern University in Chicago (one of the busiest MRI centers in the world). His wealth of MRI experience, including specialized cardiac, vascular and whole body MRI, brings unparalleled expertise to our patients. He’s joined by an MRI staff that is widely known to be the cream of the crop—hand-selected from the best and the brightest to provide unmatched patient care.

For more information on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and other radiology procedures, please visit radiologyinfo.org.

How do I prepare for my MRI?

During your appointment confirmation and at the time of check in you will be asked whether or not you have any metal or other devices in your body. On the day of your examination, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.  You may be asked to change into a medical gown unless your clothing is metal free.  You will be asked to remove watches, jewelry, credit cards, coins, and any other metallic objects from your possession prior to the examination. Since you will be positioned within a large, very strong magnet, you must remove all loose metal objects.  Doing so is important for your safety as well as that of our staff, and for proper functioning of the equipment.

Please only bring necessary personal items with you to the examination.  Due to limited space in our waiting area we ask that you only bring one family member or caregiver with you to your appointment

You will be instructed if fasting is required prior to your appointment.

If your referring physician has prescribed medication to relax you during the examination, please make sure you have someone available to drive you home from the procedure. Should you have any questions prior to your appointment please feel free to contact us at 831-755-0600.

* Patients who have metal in their body, including cardiac pacemaker, cerebral aneurysm clips and ear implants cannot be scanned because of the magnetic field associated with an MRI examination. In the same way, MRI examinations are not permitted for people with pieces of metal close to or in an important organ (such as the eye).

If you are pregnant or suspect you are pregnant, you should inform the MRI staff during the prescreening interview.

What will I experience during my examination?

Our staff will comfortably position you on a movable table attached to the MRI machine. Before the examination begins, the table will slide forward, positioning the part of your body being scanned into the center of the magnet. A piece of equipment called a “coil”, which sends and receives radio frequency waves used in this technology, will be placed around the area being scanned.

Because the MRI scan takes images in “slices” from various angles, several sequences or sets of images will be taken.  Each sequence will last from one to ten minutes, and the technologist will inform you before the scanning noise begins.  The typical examination time ranges between 15 and 30 minutes, although some examinations may take longer depending on the number of studies requested by your physician. The most important part of the examination is for you to lie very still. This is critical because the scanner is very sensitive, and any movement during the examination can blur the pictures, downgrading the diagnostic quality of the examination.

You will be able to communicate with the technologist at any time using an intercom, and we will provide earplugs or headphones for your comfort. 

Occasionally, we use a contrast agent to enhance the sensitivity of the images recorded during your examination.  Your technologist will explain this procedure to you if necessary.

With pediatric patients or patients in need of special assistance, a parent or guardian may be allowed in the room. Our staff speak Spanish, but if you or your loved one requires a translator, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate.

If you would like to visit our MRI center prior to your appointment, please call 831-755-0600 and we will happily schedule a time for you to tour the center.

Do you offer MR Angiography?

Yes.  MR angiography (MRA) is an MRI study of the blood vessels. It utilizes MR technology to detect, diagnose and guide the treatment of heart disorders, stroke and blood vessel diseases. MRA provides detailed images of blood vessels even without intravenous contrast medium. Frequently, a special form of intravenous contrast, gadolinium, is used which markedly improves the quality of the MR images of the vessels.

Do you offer Breast MRI?

Yes, we offer breast MRI and MRI-guided biopsy. Salinas Valley Imaging is the only center in the area to utilize the Siemens MAGNETOM Espree Open-Bore 1.5T MRI and Sentinelle breast coil for breast MRI and MRI-guided biopsy. The facility’s breast MRI program is headed by Dr. Amy Lantis Stemerman, Director of the Nancy Ausonio Mammography Center and partner at Salinas Valley Radiologists. Dr. Lantis Stemerman completed her fellowship training in body and musculoskeletal MRI with special emphasis on breast imaging and MRI-guided biopsy. The imaging center’s breast MRI program is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

If you are scheduled for a breast MRI, you will lay facedown on top of our Sentinelle breast coil. Our practice utilizes the Sentinelle Vanguard breast MRI coil system, designed with ergonomics to accommodate patients of all sizes. This technology allows us to customize the coils for each patient, ensuring patient comfort but also optimal imaging.

For more information on breast MRI please call 831-775-5200 to speak with a medical professional.

Do you offer Prostate MRI?

Yes, we offer prostate MRI and MRI-guided biopsy. Prostate MRI and MRI-guided biopsy procedures are performed on our Siemens MAGNETOM Espree 1.5T Open-Bore MRI. Our imaging center utilizes Siemens MRI technology in conjunction with Invivo’s DynaCAD software to produce the most accurate and detailed prostate images available today.

The facility’s prostate MRI program is headed by Dr. Michael Basse a fellowship trained interventional radiologist and partner at Salinas Valley Radiologists.

For more information, please call 831-775-5200 to speak with a medical professional.

What is an Open MRI?

We are pleased to offer the Monterey Peninsula and Salinas Valley our Siemens MAGNETOM Espree 1.5T Open-Bore MRI.  The Espree offers a comfortable MRI experience for patients who weigh up to 550 pounds or are severely claustrophobic. The Espree Open MRI has a wider bore and shorter magnet, increasing comfort for patients. The diameter of the bore size is 70-cm, compared to the typical 60-cm MRI bore. This more spacious bore relieves the anxiety of claustrophobic patients. Our MRI technologists and support staff have great success working with claustrophobic patients.

It also is the ideal option for breast MRI and breast MRI-guided biopsy due to its open bore design. This technology provides the most detailed open MRI images to date, while offering patient comfort and examination speed.

At our Open MRI Center, you will find that our MRI technologists and support staff are professional and experienced. Most importantly, they care about your comfort and health. Our Open MRI Center is located at 559 Abbott St. in Salinas, Ca.

If you would like to visit our Open MRI center prior to your appointment, please call 831-775-5200 and we will happily schedule a time for you to tour the center.

Which locations offer MRI services?

Salinas Valley Imaging Center- Open MRI
559 Abbott St.
Salinas, Ca 93901
Phone: 831-775-5200
Fax: 831-796-3891
Hours: 7:30-6:00PM

Coastal Valley Imaging of Salinas- 3T MRI/High-Field MRI
626 Brunken Ave.
Salinas, Ca 93901
Phone: 831-755-0600
Fax: 831-758-8155
Hours: 8:00-5:00PM


Coastal Valley Imaging of Carmel- High-Field MRI
26542 Carmel Rancho Blvd.
Carmel, Ca 93932
Phone: 831-625-7255
Fax: 831-625-7250
Hours: 8:00-5:00PM