Explanation of the Exam
MR imaging of the head can diagnose diseases of the brain, meninges (lining of the brain), cranial nerves, blood vessels, pituitary gland, inner ear, sinuses, and skull. With the exception of acute bleeding, where CT is probably superior, MRI is the premier tool for imaging the brain.
The patient lies on a special table inside the MRI scanner, with a radio receiver antenna, or "coil", over the body part being scanned. A series of pictures are taken, each set taking anywhere from a few seconds to 10 minutes. Up to 10 of these series are obtained, each designed to bring out a specific feature of the tissue being imaged and/or changing the orientation of the slice images. A special kind of contrast, different from that used in x-ray or CT examinations, may be injected by vein.
Approximate Exam Time
Instructions will be given at the time of scheduling the exam. Leave jewelry, coins, hairpins, pagers, cellular phones, watches, credit cards or any other objects that might be affected by the powerful magnet at home or give these objects to the MRI staff for safekeeping during the exam. Please inform the staff if you have a pacemaker, prosthesis, surgical clips, metal implants, tattoos, body piercing or any other internal metal objects. Please inform the staff if there is any possibility of PREGNANCY at the time of scheduling your appointment.
Preparing for MRI Examinations:
MRI examinations generally do not require special preparation. Some procedures will require injection of contrast media. This will be determined by the radiologist planning your examination.