Overview of Head MRI Scan | What, Preparation

What is a Head MRI?

A head MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) Scan also called a brain MRI.

It is a Non- Invasive and Imaging test that is used to diagnose and treat the disease It uses strong magnetic and radio waves to obtain a superior picture of the brain and surrounding tissues. It can be used to diagnose and monitor many diseases and disorders that affect the brain. It does not use radiation.


As per Researchers MRI gives 90% sensitive imaging tests of your head as compared to other imaging techniques, such as CT scans or X-rays.

Detailed MR images allow physicians to examine the body and detect disease.

Some people cannot undergo an MRI, for example, people with a pacemaker or certain implants containing metal.

What Does a Brain MRI Show?

A brain or head MRI shows the structures inside your head, including:

  • Brain
  • Blood vessels
  • Skull and facial bones
  • Inner ear Structure
  • Eyes and their supporting tissues
  • Nerves and Tissues

More specifically, Head MRI can show if there is any deformity in your brain or in the surrounding tissues, including, but not limited to:

  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Structural issues
  • Abnormal growths or masses
  • Fluid leaks.
  • Haemorrhage
  • White matter disease

How the Test is Being Performed

Head MRIs are conducted in hospitals or radiology centres.

You have to lie down on a narrow table that slides into a large, tunnel-shaped scanner.

MRI tests require a special dye which is known as contrast material. The contrast material used in MRI is called gadolinium. As it enhances the image quality and allows the radiologist to be more accurate. The dye is typically given during the test through an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or forearm. The dye permits the radiologist to identify particular areas more clearly.

During the MRI, the operator monitors you from another room. The duration of the test is typically lasts 30 to 60 minutes, but it may take longer

How to Prepare Yourself for the Test

You’ll need to wear a hospital gown. As, it avoids errors appearing in the final images and to conform with safety regulations regarding the strong magnetic field.

you should have to eat, drink and take any medication as usual, unless you’re advised by a doctor. Before the scan, you might be advised to fast for up to 4 hours or to drink a fairly large amount of  water.

Some MRI exams require the injection of contrast material. Your doctor may inquire if you have asthma or allergies to contrast material, drugs, food, or the environment. Gadolinium is a common contrast material used in MRI examinations. Doctors can administer gadolinium to patients who are allergic to iodine contrast. Gadolinium is much less likely to cause allergic reactions than iodine contrast.

Give Information to your technologist if you have any serious health issues or recent surgeries. such as severe kidney disease.

Women should always inform their doctors and technologists that they are pregnant. MRI has been used since the 1980s, with no reported adverse effects on pregnant women or their unborn babies.

If you are claustrophobic (fear of enclosed spaces) or have anxiety problems, you may ask your doctor for a mild sedative before your exam.

If you have any metal-containing objects or medical devices implanted in your body, your doctor must be aware of them before your brain MRI.

Keep all jewellery and other accessories at home or remove them before your brain MRI.

These items are also include:

  • Jewellery, watches, credit cards, and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged
  • Pins, hairpins, metal zippers, and similar metallic items, which can distort MRI images
  • Removable dental work
  • Pens, pocket knives, and eyeglasses
  • Body piercings
  • Mobile phones, electronic watches, and tracking devices.

MRI Test safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. People who have the following implants they may not be scanned and should not enter in the MRI scanning room until they have been evaluated for safety:

  • Ear implants
  • Brain aneurysms
  • Blood vessels
  • Cardiac Defibrillators and Pacemakers
  • Vagal nerve stimulators

Are There Any Alternatives to MRI Scans?

Other options to an MRI scan include x-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds. Based on your specific situation, Come and Consult Dr. Raveen Sharma and Ganesh Diagnostic  team will recommend the best scan for you.

How to Find Best Diagnostic Centre for MRI Scans

To find an MRI center near you, I recommend using a search engine like Google or any other health directory websites to your region. You can also contact your primary care physician, specialist, or local hospital for recommendations on nearby MRI center. They should be able to provide you with information on reputable centers in your area.

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