Investigations

Your Brain MRI Scan

These are some details of the MRI brain scan. If you have any further queries please contact the MRI unit directly.

What is MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field produced by a large magnet within the scanning room. Radio-frequency waves are then gently pulsed across the part of the body we are imaging. The interaction of the magnetic field and radio-frequency waves produce a set of signals. Computers then convert the data we acquire into very detailed, high-resolution images.

As we do not use any ionising radiation, it is a very safe form of imaging. If you like you may bring a friend or relative who can stay with you in the scanning room.

Can anyone have scan?

Unfortunately no. As we use a strong magnetic field there are some people we cannot image who may have metal inside them.

If you have any of the following please contact the MRI Unit staff before the appointment day as we may have to arrange a CT Brain scan that uses x-rays rather than magnetic fields to create the scans.:

  • A Heart Pacemaker
  • Metallic Artificial Heart Valves
  • If you have had Brain Surgery
  • If you have ever worked with metal, grinding or welding and could have had metal fragments in your eyes.
  • Neurostimulator

For female patients, please inform us if you are pregnant.

What about eating and drinking?

Unless specifically instructed you may eat and drink as normal, before and after your scan.

Does the scan hurt?

No. You will be asked to lie very still during the scan to ensure the best possible images are acquired. The scan time will vary depending on the examination, but should be no longer than one hour.

We sometimes give a small injection in to a vein in your arm to enhance the scans and give more information. There are no side effects to this injection.

The Procedure

  • Complete the MRI Safety Questionnaire.
  • You may be asked to change into a gown.
  • You will be asked to lie on the scanner table.
  • The scanner makes loud noises while the pictures are being taken.
  • You may bring a CD of your choice with you to listen to during the scan.
  • At the end of the scan you may leave and are free to return home.
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