Brain MRI with contrast


Currently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the leading method of studying the structure of the skull, providing the most accurate, detailed visual information about the individual segments of the brain. The technique of MRI is recognized as a noninvasive and safe, and can be applied in most cases with the suspicion of pathological processes in the brain of different etiology and symptomatology. Using magnetic resonance imaging have the opportunity to diagnose diseases, neurological and oncological profile at the initial stage of the disease, in situations with lightly marked specific clinical symptoms. Although confirmation of many vascular pathologies and the differential diagnosis is sufficient to meet the standard studies tomography, for the evaluation and analysis of some conditions requires more detailed and clear image. To solve this task resorted to a brain MRI with contrast.

Description contrast-enhanced MRI

This technology involves the use of magnetic resonance imaging contrast special substances – paramagnetic. Used substances – paramagnetic chemical compound having the property of positive magnetic susceptibility. The action of these substances aimed to change the contrast of specific tissue based on their selective ability of accumulation in certain cells. Contrast agents do not accumulate in healthy, undamaged cells, but increases their concentration in areas that have been exposed to pathogenic factors.

Magnetic resonance imaging with a contrast agent to make additional, more in-depth study of the finds discovered during the standard MRI or computed tomography of blood vessels. To practice if the information obtained from previous examinations without contrast, shows its failure, or the failure to differentiate the disease from vascular pathologies with similar symptoms.

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Indications for use of contrast enhancement in magnetic resonance imaging:

  • suspected tumor is localized in the structures of the cranium;
  • the study small size tumors that cannot be visualized by other means;
  • the establishment of the true sizes of the lesions;
  • evaluation of the possibility of recurrence of cancer after surgery;
  • the study of the histological structure of tumors;
  • analysis of effectiveness and side effects of radiation therapy;
  • the assumption of the presence of metastases;
  • perform differential studies in cases of suspected meningioma, glioma, hemangioblastoma, ependymoma.

The increased image clarity due to the paramagnetic materials in magnetic resonance imaging shows the early phase of pathological changes in vessels of inflammatory and dystrophic Genesis of the character. This method is claimed to determine the type of benign vascular lesions: angiomas and venous malformations. Technology allows us to determine the extent and boundaries of abnormal changes and provides an opportunity to probe the internal structure of lesions. Magnetic resonance imaging of blood vessels with a paramagnetic contrast used for assessing the overall blood supply to the brain, the quality of blood flow in healthy and pathologically changed segments. It is appropriate to perform contrast enhanced MRI for determination of process activity in multiple sclerosis.


When conducting the diagnosis requires strict adherence to standard safety measures. If the patient suffers from claustrophobia – fear of closed spaces, recommended the use of sedatives before the procedure.

The Ministry of health of the Russian Federation allowed to use the paramagnetic only in stationary medical institutions, which have equipment for resuscitation.

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The drugs are administered intravenously contrasting way, often through a flexible catheter. The next dose of medication is carried out by placing the patient in the supine position. After treatment you need medical supervision for the patient’s condition for 30 minutes.

On a patient during MRI must not contain metal elements of clothing: zippers, rivets. Must be removed from the body: jewellery and costume jewelry, watches, piercings, studs and hair clips. At the time of the diagnostic examination, the patient should reject glasses, hearing aid, dentures. Should be removed from the pockets of mobile gadgets, Bank cards and similar items that can give distortion.

Before the procedure it is necessary to consult specialists if the patient’s history are:

  • various allergic reactions;
  • pathology of the cardiovascular system;
  • polycythemia – increase in the number of red blood cells;
  • sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disease, characterized by the violation of the structure of hemoglobin;
  • dehydration when taking diuretics, profuse diarrhea, repeated vomiting;
  • treatment with beta-blockers;
  • bronchial asthma.

The presence of the above factors does not mean a strict ban on the procedure, however, requires the prior use of medications that reduce the potential threat to health.


Among the absolute contraindications include:

  • increased individual sensitivity to active components of the drug;
  • some types of chronic kidney conditions.

Contraindication is the presence of:

  • cochlear electronic devices;
  • imposed on vessels clips;
  • stents in the coronary arteries;
  • metal prostheses in the joints;
  • artificial heart valves;
  • portable insulin pumps;
  • implanted defibrillators or pacemakers.

Relative contraindications are:

  • pregnancy at any time;
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  • the breast-feeding period;
  • children up to age two years.

Side effects

Side effects when using paramagnetic materials are extremely rare and have a mild and passing symptoms. Sometimes there are hot flushes, increased sweating, General malaise, intense muscle pain, fever, rise in blood pressure, shortness of breath, increased heart rate.


Contrast-enhanced MRI shows a clearer and more detailed image of the cranial structure, which makes the study a valuable tool for the diagnosis of diseases at early stages.