MRI: how to understand it

Pract Neurol. 2021 Jun;21(3):216-224. doi: 10.1136/practneurol-2020-002905. Epub 2021 May 7.


MRI is a staple of the neurologist's armoury when facing diagnostic challenges. At times, it can reveal or confirm the diagnosis with clarity, at others it brings us no further forwards, or even muddies the water. We rely on the expertise of neuroradiology colleagues to interpret MR images, but the choice of protocol for MR acquisition and its interpretation hinge crucially on the clinical information we provide. Having a degree of understanding about how MRI works, its limitations and pitfalls, can help to optimise what we learn from a scan.

Keywords: MRI; neuroradiology; physics.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*