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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Head

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to take pictures of the head. In many cases, MRI gives information that can't be seen on an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan.

For an MRI of the head, you lie with your head inside a special machine (scanner) that has a strong magnet. The MRI can show tissue damage or disease, such as infection or inflammation, or a tumor, stroke camera.gif, or seizure camera.gif. Information from an MRI can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. Photographs or films of certain views can also be made.

In some cases, a dye (contrast material) may be used during the MRI to show pictures of structures more clearly. The dye may help show blood flow, look for some types of tumors, and show areas of inflammation.

MRI of the head may be used to look for the cause of headaches.

Headaches: Should I Have Imaging Tests to Find Out What's Causing My Headaches?

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Headaches: Should I Have Imaging Tests to Find Out What's Causing My Headaches?

Why It Is Done

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head is done to:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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