Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Also known as: magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, MRI of the brain, brain MRI.

What is brain magnetic resonance imaging?

A brain magnetic resonance imaging test is a medical procedure used to take pictures of the brain. Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is performed using magnetic fields and radio waves. It differs from CT scans in that it does not use radiation.

What happens during the test?

A MRI machine is a large, donut-shaped machine with a tunnel in the center. The patient will need to lie still on a table within this tunnel while the test is performed. It may take many minutes to an hour. Later on, a computer is used to stitch the images together and form a 3-D model of the brain.  

Is any special preparation needed? 

No special preparation is needed for brain magnetic resonance imaging in most cases. All metal needs to be removed from the body prior to the procedure. Some children might require sedatives in order to remain still during the MRI.

What are the risk factors?

There are very few risks related to brain magnetic resonance imaging. An allergic reaction is possible in the event of sedation or a contrast dye being used.


Reviewed by: Yadira L Martinez-Fernandez, MD

This page was last updated on: 9/20/2018 2:01:05 PM

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