MRI of the Brain

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive exam that allows physicians to look inside the body to diagnose medical conditions. It is an important exam that can lead to early detection and treatment of disease.

MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor. There is no radiation used with an MRI exam.

Detailed images allow physicians to better evaluate parts of the body and determine whether there is a certain disease present. MRI is more accurate at diagnosing certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging exams such as x-ray, ultrasound or CT scans.

Need to Know

Nice to Know
  • Please inform the technologist if you have any metal or implanted medical device in your body
  • Please inform your doctor if you are allergic to contrast
  • Although our MRI machines have large openings and your head and feet may be outside of the machine, if you have claustrophobia or anxiety, you may ask your physician for a prescription for a sedative prior to your exam
  • Take all of your prescribed medications as scheduled
  • Non-invasive
  • Painless

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Why is This Exam Done?

MRI of the brain can help to diagnose:

  • tumors
  • aneurysms
  • disorders of the eyes and the inner ear
  • stroke
  • Diseases of the pituitary gland
  • Neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • causes of headache

What Will Happen During the Exam?

You will be positioned on the moveable examination table. Straps may be used to help you stay in the correct position during the exam.

If you are receiving contrast for your exam, the MRI technologist will insert an IV line into a vein in your hand or arm where the contrast will be injected. Contrast is used to enhance the image quality.

The table will slide into the MRI machine. The MRI machine is large, and is open at both ends. The technologist will leave the room during your exam but you will be able to see and hear them in the control room. They will check in with you during your exam to make sure you are comfortable and do not need anything.

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How Should I Prepare?

  • Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
  • You will be asked to wear a gown during the exam. You will be asked to remove undergarments that have any metal fasteners.
  • Guidelines about eating and drinking before an MRI exam vary. Follow your daily routine unless told otherwise.
  • You will be asked if you have any known allergies to contrast.
  • Please let the technologist know if you have any serious health problems. You can not be given contrast if you have certain health conditions, such as kidney disease.
  • Jewelry and other metal objects can not be worn during the exam. Please try to leave them at home if possible.
  • You should tell the technologist if you have any implanted medical devices or anything metal in your body. These may interfere with the exam or be dangerous to have an MRI because of the strength of the MRI magnet.
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What Are the Benefits and Risks?

The benefits of MRI of the Brain:

  • No radiation exposure
  • Noninvasive
  • Allows for accurate diagnosis for a broad range of condition and diseases including cancer
  • Clearer and more detailed than other imaging methods
  • Can help physicians evaluate the structures of the brain

Risks you should be aware of:

  • Implanted medical devices that contain metal may malfunction or cause problems during an MRI exam
  • There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast is injected. Our highly skilled physicians are on hand for immediate assistance should you need assistance
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Where Can I Get This Exam?

MRI of the Brain is performed at the locations:

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