The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
Diagnostic Tests - MRI of the Brain
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What is the test?

  • MRI is a noninvasive technique for visualizing many different body tissues. Unlike x-rays, MRI does not use any radiation. Instead, it uses radio waves, a large magnet, and a computer to create images.As with a CT scan, which does use x-rays, each MRI picture shows a different "slice," or cross-section, of the area being viewed. Because these slices usually are spaced about a quarter-inch apart, your doctor can get a detailed representation of a particular area.

    An MRI of the brain can identify tumors and areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or another neurological condition.

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