Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Head
How It Feels
You will not have pain from the magnetic
field or radio waves used for the MRI test. The table you lie on may feel hard
and the room may be cool. You may be tired or sore from lying in one position
for a long time.
contrast material is used, you may feel some coolness
and flushing as it is put into your IV.
In rare cases, you may
- A tingling feeling in the mouth if you have
metal dental fillings.
- Warmth in your head. This is normal. Tell
the technologist if you have nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, pain,
burning, or breathing problems.
There are no known harmful effects from the
strong magnetic field used for MRI. But the magnet is very powerful. The magnet
may affect pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs),
artificial limbs, and other medical devices that contain iron. The magnet will
stop a watch that is close to the magnet.
Metal pieces in the eyes
can damage the
retina. If you might have metal pieces in your eye, an
X-ray of the eyes may be done before the MRI. If metal is found, the MRI will
not be done.
Iron pigments in tattoos or tattooed eyeliner can
cause skin or eye irritation.
An MRI can cause a burn with some
medicine patches. Be sure to tell your doctor if you are wearing a
There is a small chance of an allergic reaction
contrast material is used during the MRI. But most
reactions are mild and can be treated with medicine. Contrast material that contains gadolinium may cause a
serious problem (called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis) in people with
kidney failure. If you have decreased kidney function
or serious kidney disease, tell your doctor before having an MRI scan.
There also is a slight risk of an infection at the IV site if contrast
material was used.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio
wave energy to take pictures of the head.
radiologist may tell you some of the results of the
MRI right after the test. Full results are sent to your doctor or specialist in
1 to 2 days.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head
All structures of the head—the brain, its vessels,
spaces, nerves, and surrounding structures—are normal.
No abnormal growths, such as tumors, in or around the
brain are present.
No bleeding, abnormal blood vessels (AV malformations),
abnormal pockets of fluid, blockage in the flow of blood, or bulges in the
blood vessels (aneurysm) are present.
No signs of infection or inflammatory disease, such as
meningitis, are present.
Tumors in the brain or in areas outside the brain, such
acoustic neuroma, are present.
Bleeding or swelling (edema) in or around the brain is
Areas of infection or inflammatory disease, such as
encephalitis or meningitis, are present.
Abnormal areas in the brain may mean that certain
diseases, such as
Parkinson's disease, or
Alzheimer's disease, are present.
Bulges or weak areas (aneurysms) or abnormal blood
vessels (such as an AV malformation) are present.