Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Head
Why It Is Done
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head is done to:
- Look for the cause of headaches.
- Help diagnose a Reference stroke Opens New Window or blood vessel problems in the head. Problems with blood vessels may include an Reference aneurysm Opens New Window or abnormal twisted blood vessels that are present at birth (this is called an arteriovenous [AV] malformation).
- Check blood flow or blood clots to the brain. MRI can show bleeding in or around the brain.
- Check symptoms of a known or suspected Reference head injury Opens New Window.
- Check symptoms such as change in consciousness, confusion, or abnormal movements. These symptoms may be caused by brain diseases, such as Reference Huntington's disease Opens New Window, Reference multiple sclerosis (MS) Opens New Window, Reference Parkinson's disease Opens New Window, or Reference Alzheimer's disease Opens New Window. See an Reference MRI showing MS in the brain Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
- Check for "water on the brain" (Reference hydrocephaly Opens New Window).
- Look for tumors, infections, an Reference abscess Opens New Window, or conditions of the brain or brain stem, such as Reference encephalitis Opens New Window or Reference meningitis Opens New Window.
- Check the eyes, the nerves from the eyes to the brain (Reference optic nerves Opens New Window), the ears, and the nerves from the ears to the brain (Reference auditory nerves Opens New Window).
- Look for problems of the Reference pituitary gland Opens New Window.
- Investigate or follow a finding seen on another test.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 9, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Paul D. Traughber, MD - Diagnostic Radiology