The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of the brain and spinal cord. MRI is a painless procedure that only requires that you lie still on a padded table as it gently glides you through the magnetic field. The test requires approximately 45-60 minutes to complete. A contrast agent (dye) may be injected into your vein in order to give a clearer image of the area being examined.
Because of the magnetic field and radio frequency, you should not have an MRI if you have a pacemaker, brain aneurysm clips, metal foreign objects remaining in the body from past trauma, or an implanted metallic or electrical device.