Brain MRI smaller pic

Functional Brain MRI is a diagnostic tool used to measure quick, tiny metabolic changes that take place in an active part of the brain. This procedure may be performed with or without an intravenous contrast media depending upon what your doctor would like to have visualized.

Who performs a brain MRI?

The procedure is performed by a MRI Technologist with the assistance of a Radiologist.

Why is a brain MRI performed?

A Brain MRI is performed to examine the anatomy of the brain and its functions to better diagnose and treat brain disorders and abnormalities.

Where are brain MRIs performed?

  • University Imaging Center
    University of Maryland Professional Building, Suite 110
    419 West Redwood Street
    Baltimore, Maryland 21201
    410-328-3225
  • University of Maryland Medical Center
    Department of Diagnostic Radiology, 2nd Floor
    22 South Greene Street
    Baltimore, Maryland 21201
    410-328-0152

What type of prep do I need to do for a brain MRI?

If contrast is being administered, you will have to have blood work drawn within 30 days of your procedure. If you have any type of hair glue it must be washed out completely prior to the MRI. Failure to do so will result in having to be rescheduled. 

What can I expect with this MRI?

Once you arrive at the Imaging Center, you will register at the front desk. Please have your insurance information ready at this time. After registration, you will be escorted to a dressing room to put on a gown if you have any metal on your clothing. You will need to remove all metal objects including jewelry, watches and hairpins. Dyes used in tattoos may contain iron and could heat up during MRI, but this is rarely a problem. If you are having contrast material injected, you may feel brief pain from the needle and slight warmth when the material is injected, which takes one to two minutes.

You will lie on your back on a narrow table that can be moved in and out of the MRI tunnel. Cushions are used to maintain your proper positioning and to make you as comfortable as possible. There are loud tapping or knocking noises heard at certain phases of imaging; ear plugs may help. You will be given several breathing instructions and asked to hold completely still while your brain is scanned.

This procedure takes approximately 15 minutes. There will be an additional 15 minutes if contrast is administered

After the procedure, the results are sent to your doctor and you may resume normal activity.

Are there any risks to this procedure?

An iron-containing implant or cardiac pacemaker may be affected by the strong pull of the magnetic field.

Are there any alternatives to a Brain MRI?

A CT scan or general X-ray may be used as alternatives to this procedure.

Please contact the Radiology Access Center at 410-328-3225 to schedule an appointment.