Bottom line:  Requires radiologist determination on case by case basis

Bullets and Shrapnel

Safety:  Conditional

Risks:  Thermal, Displacement


  • Assumed to be ferromagnetic, and considered unsafe if located within 5mm of a solid organ or of a 3rd order or more proximal arterial/venous branch of the aorta/IVC.
  • Take precautions to limit and monitor for symptoms of thermal injury.


  • Embedded metallic foreign bodies, especially if in place for a long period of time, may be anchored in place by scar tissue. Use clinical judgment in assessing the potential risks and benefits of undergoing MRI.
  • Shrapnel located at or distal to the elbow or knee meet the above criteria and do not require further evaluation or clearance.

Bottom line:  Requires radiologist determination on case by case basis