It is no coincidence that the human brain is considered to be the most difficult organ to study and diagnose diseases, despite the fact that it affects the work of absolutely all body systems. One of the modern and effective methods for its research is magnetic resonance imaging, which is often used in medicine to detect brain dysfunction. MRI of the head is done not only for adults but also for children; it is not as harmful for young patients as alternative research methods.
When is a brain MRI scheduled?
Such a scan is one of the key in the medical diagnosis of brain pathologies, it is often used for the initial diagnosis, as well as to clarify it. The procedure is usually carried out according to the prescription of the physicians, in the event that the patient has appropriate indications for this.
- It is recommended to do it to those patients who feel frequent headaches, at the same time the ailment occurs with a special frequency, and the causes of this phenomenon have not yet been recognized.
- MRI is performed if a patient has previously identified brain tumors or has only had suspicions about their development.
- Often prescribed for epilepsy, and as soon as at the time of its identification, and in chronic form.
- Also, direct indications for the appointment of this scan – a partial loss of hearing and vision, the nature of which has not yet been identified.
- The procedure is often carried out with a stroke, as well as to monitor the state of the human body after it.
- Indications for magnetic resonance imaging – frequent loss of consciousness for no apparent reason, fainting.
- Among the indications for MRI is meningitis in any form and stage of development.
- This type of diagnosis, among other methods, can be used to monitor the condition of people who have developed Parkinson’s disease, as well as Alzheimer’s.
- MRI can be used to identify the causes of sinusitis, as well as for the appointment of their treatment.
- Often assigned to those who suffer from multiple sclerosis.
- Also among the indications for use of this type of scanning are dysfunctions of the vascular system in different parts of the human body.
- The most common indications: diagnosis before surgery, as well as scanning after surgery.
Despite the relative safety of this method, it, like any other diagnosis, has its own contraindications. You can find out what contraindications to MRI each patient has with the help of a questionnaire, a personal survey and a medical examination.
Contraindications can be direct – that is, the study is prohibited, and relative. If a patient has relative contraindications, it means that scanning is more likely to be harmful for him, but can be carried out if necessary, if there are serious indications.
Among the most frequent contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging of the brain:
- Absolute contraindications: the presence on the patient’s body of any metal objects or substances that can not be eliminated during the scan. These may include a metal prosthesis, an implant, a pacemaker, braces, or even a tattoo, the dyeing composition of which contains metal.
- It is very harmful to use such a scan for women who are on a short term of pregnancy. It is better to refuse magnetic CT if there are no serious indications for its use.
- It is better to choose an alternative CT method for those who are afraid of confined spaces.
- Magnetic resonance imaging does not apply to patients who suffer from diseases of the pituitary gland.
- With extreme caution, the procedure is carried out for children, and if there are no weighty indications, then children under five years old should better give it up. The babies do not have MRI with contrast.
- Also, you can not use this diagnostic for people with artificial heart valves.
- Magnetic tomography study with contrast is especially harmful for allergies.
- It is better to abandon magnetic CT scan for people who have heart failure.
- Magnetic resonance imaging or magnetic CT is not applicable to patients with impaired cerebral circulation.
What does this study show?
Many patients are concerned about the question – what does an MRI scan of the brain show?
With the help of MRI, you can see how the structure of the patient’s brain differs from the norm, and it is also easy to determine whether or not the patient has serious brain damage. MRI is often done before surgery and after surgery, as well as magnetic resonance imaging can determine the consequences of head injuries. So, to answer the question: what MRI of the brain shows is very simple. Magnetic CT gives a complete picture of the state of all structures of the human brain, helps to establish the causes of headaches for both children and adults.
Preparing to scan
Preparing for an MRI of the brain depends largely on whether it is done with or without contrast. If magnetic CT passes with contrast, then it is worth preparing for it in advance. The doctor will tell you about the detailed preparation measures, but what exactly is worth doing is to give up food and fluids five hours before CT.
Also, in order to properly prepare for the procedure, all patients need to remove their accessories, jewelry, watches. You should definitely tell your doctor that you suspect that you have a pregnancy, you have chronic illnesses or allergies to medications. It is also useful to warn him about claustrophobia.
How to perform MRI of the brain?
MRI of the brain with contrast is significantly different from scanning without it. First of all, this tomography gives more accurate results, but it lasts much longer. It should be noted that MRI of the brain with contrast is prohibited to small children, as it is harmful for their fragile body.
In general, the scanning procedure takes place in one scenario:
- The patient removes the necessary items of clothing, getting rid, above all, of all the elements that may contain metal.
- He is asked to take the right position on the sliding table. Magnetic tomography of the head, including the brain, usually requires the patient to lie down on his back.
- If necessary, a person is given a contrast, this can be done with a special catheter or manually.
- If the patient has poor control over his movements or has mental abnormalities, but he needs to do a scan, then he is prescribed sedatives. Also, anyone, even a completely healthy person, who is afraid of accidental body movements to distort the results of the procedure, may ask about their use.
- Also, often for fixing limbs using special belts, and for the head – rollers. It is especially necessary to apply them to children, as it is difficult for them to spend such a long period of time in complete immobility.
- The movable table is placed in the tunnel of the tomograph, at this time the medical officer leaves this room, he will follow the procedure from the room next door. This is done because MRI radiation is a little bit, but harmful for a person, and if he spends the procedure all day, he can do much harm to his health.
- During the procedure, the patient will feel almost nothing, no pain, no discomfort, no discomfort. Scanning is absolutely painless. At the same time, the patient can hear the characteristic crash of the device, it is the norm. If an MRI is performed with contrast, the skin may tingle a little at the site of its injection.
- Scanning can last more than an hour, it is extremely important for the patient to maintain complete immobility. This gives a guarantee of clear and reliable results.
How is the data decrypted?
MRI of the brain is usually performed immediately after the scan. It is prepared by a radiologist, an MRI scan of the brain may take some time, but usually not more than half an hour. The results of an MRI scan of the brain are given by the doctor to the patient or are transmitted to the attending physician.
A brain MRI transcript contains the following data:
- Blood flow rate.
- Characteristics of the fluid flow of the spinal canal.
- The degree of diffusion of tissues.
- The activity of the cerebral cortex under the influence of stimuli.
MRI of the brain makes it possible to assess not only the structural characteristics, but also the functional properties of the brain. The main advantage of the method is its non-invasiveness, painlessness, the absence of a recovery period and high informational content.
With exercise and temperance, most people can do without medicine.