Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Of The Head

Submitted on March 27, 2012

What is an MRI Scan?

An MRI scan, also known as magnetic resonance imaging, is one of the newer and more popular techniques of medical diagnosis. It utilizes the help of magnetic and radio waves being sent through the patient's body, triggering the body's atoms into a variety of different positions. When these atoms and nuclei naturally start to return to their original locations, they send out radio signals of their own. The MRI machine picks up these signals which are then sent to the computer and converted into images. The MRI machine is a rather large cylindrical shaped magnet that has a table on which the patient will be required to lie down before this table is slid into the machine and the test carried out.

An Mri of the head is a non invasive test that helps in the diagnosis of conditions such as a brain tumor, abnormalities of the brain, certain trauma patients, stroke, disorders of certain organs and structures in the head such as the inner ear and the eyes and disease of the pituitary gland. Additionally, an MRI scan can also show blood flow, blood vessels and fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.


Initially, the patient will be asked to lie down on a screening table after which a coil will be positioned around your head and the exam table will be slid into the machine after which the medical staff will move into an adjacent room, leaving you alone in the MRI room. They will generally communicate with you with the help of a video camera or glass window as well as an intercom system. Some cases may require the patient being injected with a contrast dye that makes certain organs and blood vessels stand out. The entire procedure should take between 15 minutes to an hour to complete and is completely painless apart from the injection for the contrast material, if that is required.


When undergoing an MRI head scan, it is important for the patient to remove any metallic objects such as car keys, watches, hairpins as well as removable dental work as they all have the ability to interfere with the magnetic fields in the MRI machine. The data on credit cards are easily erased by the strong medical field. Moreover, the patient will also be asked to remove all of his or her clothing and requested to wear a hospital gown instead.