MRI Brain

MRI Brain

MRI is the best radiological tool available for imaging brain and the blood vessels in the brain. It can be used to diagnose and evaluate many conditions, of which a few are listed:

  • Finding the cause for headaches
  • Tumours of the brain
  • Early diagnosis of a stroke
  • Developmental abnormalities of the brain
  • Vascular pathology
  • Disorders of the inner ear
  • Pathological conditions of the eyes
  • Disease of the pituitary gland


The patient will be required to lie on his/her back during the examination. The patient’s head is placed in a special piece of equipment called a coil, which is like a frame. It is placed over the patient’s face, but does not touch it. The patient will be given an eye mask if he/she prefers. The patient’s head is placed in the middle of the MRI magnet, which means that half of the body will be inside the “tunnel”. The radiographer can talk to the patient whilst in the “tunnel”and can hear when he/she speaks. The success of the MRI relies largely on the cooperation of the patient, since any movement  of the mouth (yawning, coughing, chewing, snoring), excessive movement of the eyes or face will interfere with the scan and cause the images to be undiagnostic.

Preparation for an MRI Brain

This examination needs to be booked, except in case of an emergency.
Because the strong magnetic field used for MRI may interact with or be influenced by magnetic material implanted in or on the body, the MRI radiographer will enquire whether any susceptible prostheses or substances are present (see "What can I expect when I go for an MRI?") 

The radiologist or technologist may also ask about drug allergies and whether head surgery has been done in the past. If you might be pregnant, this should be mentioned.

Some patients who undergo MRI may feel confined or claustrophobic. If you are not easily reassured, a sedative may be administered. Roughly 1 in 20 patients will require medication. If you need sedation, the MRI might have to be rebooked for the following reasons:

  • You are required to be NIL PER MOUTH for at least 4 hours before sedation can be given
  • According to law you are not allowed to drive after having received a sedative.
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