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Brain MRIs

A brain MRI scan is one of the most effective imaging tests; unlike other tests, such as CT scans or X-rays, a brain MRI does not use radiation and is considered highly effective for imaging the head and brain. The detailed images produced by a brain MRI can help with the patient’s diagnosis quickly. A brain MRI is a safe process; however, doctors do not recommend pregnant women get MRIs, especially in the first trimester.
Keep reading to learn what a brain MRI is, when it is recommended, the associated risks with a brain MRI, and more.

 

What are brain MRIs?

A magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI scan of the brain is a safe and painless procedure that helps the doctor make the correct diagnosis and create a suitable care plan for the patient. This test, also referred to as a head MRI, produces clear images of the inside of your head using magnetism and radio waves. Brain MRIs enable doctors to examine focal parts of the brain that may be affecting the patient’s health in addition to assessing the anatomy of the patient’s brain.

An MRI machine looks like a giant hollow tube with a sliding table in the middle. A technologist operates the machine from an adjacent room with a computer while monitoring the patient. Depending on the patient, the doctor may recommend a contrast brain MRI, which uses contrast material to enhance the visibility of the imaging test for tumours, inflammation, blood vessels, and blood supply.

 

What is visible on MRI scan images of brain?

A head or brain MRI shows the structures inside the patient’s head, including the following:

• The brain
• Blood vessels
• Skull and other facial bones
• Inner ear
• Eyes and their supporting tissue
• Nerves
• Surrounding soft tissue
• Connective tissue and muscles
• Cerebral fluid

 

Brain MRIs can help detect any abnormalities in or around the brain, such as:

  • A blood clot
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Encephalitis
  • Brain damage associated with epilepsy
  • Dementia
  • Issues with the pituitary gland
  • Effects of stroke, degenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s), or trauma on brain function
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Abnormal growth or tumours
  • White matter disease
  • Fluid leaks

 

*To help with the diagnosis of stroke, dementia, infection, and multiple sclerosis, the doctor may suggest getting a contrast MRI.

 

When is a brain MRI scan recommended?

A neurologist or other specialised doctors can order brain MRIs for different reasons, such as to diagnose a neurological condition or to monitor any changes or progress in the patient with pre-existing conditions. A Brian MRI is recommended for patients who experience the following symptoms:

 

  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Seizures
  • Vertigo
  • Frequent episodes of severe dizziness
  • Unexplained hearing loss
  • Hormonal imbalances related to the hypothalamus and/or pituitary glands
  • Sudden significant changes in the personality or thinking
  • Excessive fatigue or extreme weakness

 

Brain MRIs are also performed as a pre-operative procedure to better prepare for the surgery. The doctors may also recommend getting a brain MRI if the patient has had a significant head injury.

 

Preparation and procedure of brain MRIs

To prepare for a brain MRI, the patient will be given instructions depending on the type of MRI they are having. Patients are advised to eat their meals and take their prescribed medications regularly without any changes unless the healthcare provider asks them to fast. If the patient has a medical device in their body or metal implants from previous surgery, they must inform the healthcare providers about such objects. Since an MRI uses strong magnets to take pictures of the internal parts of the body, metal objects may heat up inside the body or shift in their space, which can cause severe damage to the patient and the MRI machine.

 

For the procedure, a healthcare provider will prepare the patient by laying them down on the examination table head-first towards the machine. If required, the patient will be given a gown to change into to remove any interference with the test due to their clothing. After this, the healthcare provider places the head coil over the patient’s head to process the MRI scan. The healthcare provider may administer a contrast medium (a special dye) intravenously into the patient’s arm or hand if the MRI procedure requires it. This contrast medium is safe but may make the patient feel a little cold.

 

If the patient is claustrophobic, they may be given suitable medication to calm their anxiety, as the machine may trigger a response. Additionally, the machine makes loud humming and thumping noises during the procedure, so the patient can request earplugs or headphones to help them remain calm and still during the 30–45-minute procedure.

 

Risks associated with brain MRIs

Although brain MRIs are safe, people with certain metal objects, such as jewellery and piercings, and medical devices in their bodies cannot get an MRI due to the health and safety risks involved. Additionally, if the patient is getting a contrast MRI, they may get a mild or severe allergic reaction to the contrast dye.

 

The patients are recommended to inform their healthcare providers about any inconveniences they have during the procedure to prevent serious complications.

 

Cost of brain MRIs in India

The average cost of a brain MRI scan can range anywhere from INR 2000 to INR 14500. This depends on the type of establishment one chooses to get the test done. The price of a brain MRI also depends on the type of procedure the doctor has ordered.
The patient is recommended to check with their health insurance provider if they provide coverage for the brain MRI or check with a government hospital to get the MRI done if they want to reduce the cost of their overall treatment.

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Dr.William Lewis Aliquam sit amet dignissim ligula, eget sodales orci. Etiam vehicula est ligula, laoreet porttitor diam congue eget. Cras vestibulum id nisl eu luctus. In malesuada tortor magna, vel tincidunt augue fringilla eget. Fusce ac lectus nec tellus malesuada pretium.

MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) Gold Medalist (2009-2015) M.D In General Medicine (2016-2019), CCID (Infectious Diseases)

PG Diploma In Clinical Endocrinology v& Diabetes, Clinical Associate in Non-Invasive Cardiology

Dr.William Lewis Aliquam sit amet dignissim ligula, eget sodales orci. Etiam vehicula est ligula, laoreet porttitor diam congue eget. Cras vestibulum id nisl eu luctus. In malesuada tortor magna, vel tincidunt augue fringilla eget. Fusce ac lectus nec tellus malesuada pretium.

MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) Gold Medalist (2009-2015) M.D In General Medicine (2016-2019), CCID (Infectious Diseases)

PG Diploma In Clinical Endocrinology v& Diabetes, Clinical Associate in Non-Invasive Cardiology

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