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MRI of the Brain: Exam Description

Your doctor has ordered a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of your head. MRI uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create images soft tissues, bones, and internal body structures. MRI of the brain allows physicians to examine the brain anatomy to rule out any anatomical abnormalities caused by health complications such as stroke or degenerative disease.
MRI of the brain1MRI of the brain2

HOW DO I GET READY FOR MY EXAM?

We recommend you print and fill out the MRI questionnaire form before arriving. It will help accelerate your registration process.

If you are claustrophobic (fear of enclosed spaces) or experience intense pain while lying down for more than 10 minutes, we recommend you contact your referring physician and request a relaxant or pain medication to help you through the scan. The radiology physicians will not prescribe these medications for you.

  • Please wear comfortable clothing, preferably cotton, and leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
  • You will be asked to wear a gown for this exam.
  • No special preparation is necessary for this exam.
  • Please call the number below if you have any questions regarding your exam.

(805) 681-7671

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER ARRIVING FOR MY EXAM?

  • Please check-in at the main registration desk and then check-in at the radiology reception desk.
  • Please inform the technologist(s) if you have any allergies, are pregnant or are nursing or if you have an aneurysm clip(s), pacemaker, bone growth stimulator, pain pump, and/or other electronic implanted device(s).

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MY EXAM?

  • The MRI of the brain requires you to lie down on the scanning table, head-first.
  • A coil (special device) will be placed around your head to obtain the best image quality possible.
  • The scanning table will slide your body into the magnet.
  • During the scan, you will not feel anything, but will hear intermittent humming, clicking and knocking sounds. Earplugs will be required during the scan to help mask the noise.
  • In some cases, a contrast agent (dye) might be used to obtain additional information (only applies when indicated per radiologist). If a contrast agent is used, the MRI technologist will inject the agent into a vein in the arm or hand. The injection will only take a few seconds.
  • Exams with IV contrast (dye) require renal panel (blood test) results within the last 90 days for the following patients:
  • Patients 60 years or older
  • Patients with a history of renal disease
  • Patients with a history of diabetes mellitus
  • Patients with a history of multiple myeloma
  • It is very important to remain very still during the scan to obtain the optimal image quality.
  • The technologists will be able to see and hear you at all times during the exam. You will also be provided an emergency device to obtain the technologist's attention at any time, if needed.
  • The MRI of the brain will take approximately 45 minutes.

WHAT DO I DO AFTER MY SCAN?

  • The images of your scan will be examined by a radiologist and the results will be sent to your referring physician who will review the results with you.
  • If a contrast injection is used during your exam, drink at least 50-60 ounces of water within 24 hours to eliminate the contrast (dye) from your body.
  • You can request copies of your images on a CD-ROM or your report, by calling (805) 692-6435.

Find out about the MRA of the brain.

Download and print the questionnaire and forms you may need to complete prior to your visit >

SCHEDULING INFORMATION:

Please call (805) 681-7671 to schedule your appointment.