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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain - What it is

The following information has been specially prepared to help you understand the procedure and to make your visit to the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging a pleasant one.

Where are we?
The entrance to the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging is located within the Admissions at Level 1. Click here to view map.

What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan
MRI scan is a specialised examination using a strong magnet and radio waves to produce medical images for diagnostic purposes.

What to expect during the examination?
During the MRI examination, you will be comfortably positioned on a special cushioned table. You will not feel anything except table movement between scans.

You will hear loud humming and thumping noises due to gradient switching and radio tuning. Do not be alarmed.

Earplugs or headphone with music will be provided for your comfort. We will remain in contact with you through a video camera and speakerphone.

Radiation dose/Biological effect
As there is no X-ray used in this examination, there is no radiation involved.

There is no known adverse biological effect caused by these clinical MRI scanners.

Important points to note:

  • For safety reasons, all patients must complete the MRI Safety Screening Questionnaire before an MRI scan is to be performed. These questionnaire can be completed while making your appointment at our counter or on the day of examination.
  • Please inform us if you are claustrophobic (fear of small/enclosed spaces), or have had metallic implants/dental braces.
  • If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, please inform your doctor or the MRI radiographer.
  • Please do not carry any valuables or excessive cash with you during your appointment.

For paediatric patients and other patients requiring anaesthesia or sedation, written consent is required. An intravenous needle may be inserted before the MRI scan.

Preparation for MRI scan
All metallic accessories, including body piercings, and makeup, should be removed.

You will be asked to change to our hospital gown and to remove all personal belongings (eg. dentures, handphone, magnetic cards and spectacles) before the scan.

DO NOT wear clothing made of spandex material or anti-microbial/anti-bacterial materials as they may contain metallic threads that will cause skin burns when they interact with the magnetic field.

* Note to parent/s: If you are pregnant, you may accompany your child into the MRI room, but you cannot stay during the scanning

*Do note that an Excuse Sheet will be given upon request.

Types of MRI brain scans offered


​Full MRI brain scan

(may require injection of intravenous contrast and additional specialized sequences)

Screening MRI brain scan

(no injection of intravenous contrast)

When is this performed?
​When there is high likelihood of brain abnormalities being present.
​When there is low likelihood of brain abnormalities being present.
How long does this take?
​30 to 60 minutes
​Under 10 minutes
Why perform this?
​Usually performed for
  • epilepsy
  • weakness/numbness on 1 side
  • abnormalities found during clinical examination
​To ensure there is no significant abnormality in the brain.

Not to be used in traumatic brain injury.


You should discuss with your doctor whether an MRI brain scan would be beneficial for you and which MRI brain scan you should undergo. This depends on your medical problem and what your doctor finds during clinical examination.

Staff of Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging will also check that the indication stated on the MRI request form is suitable for the type of MRI brain scan requested for.

Do note that if there is abnormality found on the screening MRI brain scan, it may be converted to a full MRI brain scan and you may be scheduled for extra imaging either on the day itself or at a later date.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain - Symptoms

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain - How to prevent?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain - Causes and Risk Factors

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain - Diagnosis

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain - Treatments

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain - Preparing for surgery

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain - Post-surgery care

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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