During the test, you will lie on a table that slides into a large magnet shaped like a tube. The radiologist will watch you through a window from a room outside the scanner and can talk to you through an intercom system throughout the exam. You will hear loud tapping noises and you may feel a slight thumping sensation (these are the electric currents in the scanner coils turning on and off). Your radiologist can prescribe medicine to make you sleepy during the RMN Cerebral, or they can recommend an “open” machine with wider tunnels that are more tolerable for people who have claustrophobia. You will need to remain very still during the MRI scanning process because movement can cause blurry images. You may be given a pillow to rest your head on and earplugs to reduce the noise. If you are given dye to help the radiologist see certain structures, you will be injected with a needle in one of your arms. This can cause discomfort, a feeling of pressure, or a small bump at the injection site, depending on the type of contrast used. It is important to notify your healthcare provider if you are sensitive to contrast dye or have any allergies.
MRI uses strong magnetic fields and radio wave signals to take pictures of the brain. These images can be viewed on a computer monitor or saved to film for further study. The radiologist will evaluate the pictures and send them to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.