Brain MRI Scans: Here’s what you need to know

Healthcare experts use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans to diagnose and effectively monitor head injuries and analyze abnormalities in a patient’s head or brain. These scans provide 3-D images of particular body parts. MRI scans create highly detailed images from a different angle, and this makes it possible for doctors to accurately analyze the images and make an accurate diagnosis.

Depending on the primary objective of the scan, a medical expert may recommend contrast, a substance that the patient takes beforehand. It can help make the images more clearly defined for easier analysis. Besides, your doctor can use NeuroQuant software for brain MRI and better analyze the images.

Uses of MRI scans

Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans allow healthcare experts to analyze what’s happening in a patient’s body. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRI scans don’t produce radiation. They use radio waves and magnetic forces to generate images. That means doctors can scan bones, major body organs, and other tissues. Thus, MRI scans are ideal for scanning complicated body parts like the brain.

Additionally, these scans tend to produce highly detailed images, particularly for when handling soft tissues. This is essential when analyzing the human brain and brain stem for disease and other forms of damage. A medical expert can recommend an MRI head scan if they suspect you have;

  • A brain aneurysm
  • A brain tumor
  • Epilepsy
  • Infection in your brain or head
  • Blocked arteries
  • A chronic health condition that affects the head
  • Fluid on the brain such or hydrocephalus
  • Stroke or brain hemorrhages

Note that a head MRI is a noninvasive process. When you arrive at the clinic, your doctor will talk you through the process and ensure that you understand what to expect during the process.

Preparation

First, your doctor will ask several questions about your medical history. Some of these questions will focus on the type of metallic objects, such as metal plates, piercings, jewelry, and watches. These objects can interfere with the scan. Thus, you may be asked to remove them before the scan process commences. Other metallic items that are likely to interfere with the scan include;

  • Cochlear implants
  • Eye implants
  • Brain aneurysm clips
  • Dental bridges and fillings
  • Surgical staples and clips
  • Metallic fragments in the blood vessels or eyes
  • Metal screws, plates, rods, or wires

Your doctor will ask you to put on a particular gown and keep your clothes and jewelry safely until the scanning process is completed.

During the MRI scan…

The doctor will bring you to the room with the scanner. You will be required to lie on a sliding trolley, and the doctor will cover you with a sheet. Then he or she will slide you gently until the part of the body that needs to be scanned is inside the MRI scammer. Don’t be worried if your doctor leaves the room during the scan. It’s perfectly safe.

If you have extreme claustrophobia, the medical team may administer a sedative or anesthetic.

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