Brain MRI

Using strong magnets and radio-frequency pulses, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can generate images (or pictures) of the brain.

Brain MRI

Using strong magnets and radio-frequency pulses, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can generate images (or pictures) of the brain.

What is a Brain MRI?

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner uses strong magnetic fields to create images of the brain and spinal cord. MRI is a non-invasive way for your doctor to examine the brain and surrounding tissues. The scan produces high-resolution images which can be used to diagnose a range of conditions.

Why would my doctor refer me to have a Brain MRI? keyboard_arrow_down

A brain MRI can help your doctor to diagnose a variety of medical conditions, evaluate or rule out aneurysms of cerebral vessels, multiple sclerosis, tumours, conditions within the orbits (eye cavity) or inner ear, stroke, brain injury/ trauma as well as spinal cord disorders.  

Doctors may also schedule a brain MRI if surgery is scheduled to help plan the procedure. 

How do I prepare for a Brain MRI? keyboard_arrow_down

Because MRI uses strong magnetic fields, it is essential to review your medical history prior to undertaking an MRI and be sure to discuss with your doctor if you have any metal containing implants, aneurysm clips, pins, plates, screws, staples within your body, prosthetic joints or limbs, artificial heart valves or stents. It is important to inform your doctor if you have any in your body, before undertaking an MRI. It is also important to tell us if you have a history of a metallic foreign body in your eye. 

You’ll need to remove all jewellery and piercings prior to undertaking the scan and change into a hospital gown.   

If you have any known allergies, make sure to mention these to your doctor. If you suffer from claustrophobia, discuss this with your doctor also, as they may be able to prescribe anti-anxiety medication to help. 

What happens during a Brain MRI? keyboard_arrow_down

You will be directed to lie down on a bench, which slides you into place within a tunnel that is positioned in the middle of the MRI machine.  

In some cases, a contrast agent will be injected, by your doctor or a nurse, into one of your veins to enhance the images seen on the MRI.

Once the scan begins, the machine makes some loud banging noises while imaging is occurring. You will either be offered ear plugs to wear or instead can wear headphones to listen to music while the scan is underway.

The scan is completely painless, and you will be directed by a technician throughout the process. 

How long does a Brain MRI take? keyboard_arrow_down

A brain MRI usually takes between 30 to 60 minutes to complete.

Are there any risks to having an MRI? keyboard_arrow_down

MRI scans do not use ionising radiation, unlike other types of medical scans such as X-rays and CT. An MRI scan, is therefore considered a safer alternative, particularly for individuals that might be at higher risk, such as pregnant women.  

There are no documented side effects from the radio waves and magnets used during the scan.  

Some metal containing implants can move or heat up due to the strong magnetic fields. For this reason, it’s particularly important to discuss your medical history with your doctor. While it is rare for people to experience an allergic reaction to the contrast agent used in some MRIs, be sure to mention any known allergies to your doctor also. 

What are the benefits of a Brain MRI? keyboard_arrow_down

MRI can be very beneficial for diagnosing, monitoring, or ruling out a wide range of potentially serious conditions. Its ability to visualize and characterize the soft tissue structures in and around the brain is superior to other imaging techniques.

The range of conditions assessed by MRI include bleeding, swelling of the brain, developmental abnormalities, tumours, infections, inflammation, damage due to injury or stroke and abnormalities of the blood vessels. It is also useful looking for causes of headaches or seizures. 

How do I get my results? keyboard_arrow_down

After your scan is completed, a specialised doctor, called a radiologist, will review, and interpret the images taken and create a formal report. The report will then be sent to your referring doctor, along with the images, which your doctor may already have access to using one of I-MED's online report and image platforms.  

In some cases, it can take up to a week or more to receive all results from your MRI. 

It is important that you arrange an appointment with your doctor once the results are ready so they can explain what the results mean and can plan the next step in your care.  

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