Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Head
How It Is Done continued...
You will need to remove all metal objects (such as hearing
aids, dentures, jewelry, watches, and hairpins) from your body because these
objects may be attracted to the powerful magnet used for the test. If you have
had an accident or you work around metal, there is a chance that you have metal
pieces in your head, eyes, skin, or spine. An X-ray may be taken before the MRI
to see if you can have the test.
You may need to take off some of
your clothes. You will be given a gown to wear during the test. If you keep
your clothes on, empty your pockets of any coins and cards (such as credit
cards or ATM cards) with scanner strips on them because the MRI magnet may
erase the information on the cards.
During the test
During the test you will lie
on your back on a table that is part of the MRI scanner. Your head, chest, and
arms may be held with straps to help you lie still. The table will slide into
the space with the magnet. A device called a coil may be placed over or wrapped
around your head.
Some people feel nervous (claustrophobic) inside the MRI magnet. If
this keeps you from lying still, you can be given a medicine
(sedative) to help you relax.
Inside the scanner you will hear a fan and
feel air moving. You may also hear tapping or snapping noises as the MRI
pictures are taken. This is normal. You may be given earplugs or headphones
with music to reduce the noise. It is very important to hold completely still
while the scan is being done. You may be asked to hold your breath for short
periods of time.
During the test, you may be alone in the scanner
room. The technologist will watch you through a window. You will be able to
talk through a speaker.
contrast material is needed, the technologist will put
it in an
intravenous (IV) line in a vein in your arm or hand.
The material may be given over 1 to 2 minutes. Then more MRI scans are
An MRI test usually takes 30 to 60 minutes but can take as
long as 2 hours.