Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Head

What is a Head MRI?

A head MRI is the diagnostic imaging of the brain by using radio waves and magnetism to product high resolution, three-dimensional images of vascular structures and brain parynchema.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

A head MRI is most commonly used to assess brain tumors, infarcts, hemmorhage, trauma, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or seizure disorders.  It is the most commonly performed MRI exam.

How should I prepare for the MRI?

There is no special preparation required for a head MRI.  Food and fluid intake do not need to be restricted.

Please inform your physician or technologist if you are claustrophobic, or if you have a pacemaker, aneurysm clips or any metallic implants.  You should also inform your physician or technologist if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant.

What will I experience during the procedure?

Once you arrive in the MRI department, you will be asked to change into a gown and to remove any jewelry or metallic objects.  A technologist or nurse may start an IV, so that a contrast media can be injected during your scan if necessary.  You will be asked to lie on your back on a sliding MRI table that allows the technologist to move you into the MRI machine.  Although the scan is of the head only, your body will still be completely inside the machine.  An apparatus will be positioned over your head while inside the machine.  You will be asked to hold very still for the duration of the exam, which usually takes about 45 minutes.  You may experience a cool sensation if any contrast is injected into your veins, and your body may feel an overall warmth as the scan is performed.  The MRI machine will make a series of loud, repetitive knocking sounds.  The technologist will offer you foam earplugs or a stereo headset to mask the noise.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

A radiologist will interpret the exam, and a signed report will be sent to your physician who will discuss the results with you.