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Radiology/MRI - Brain - With & Without Contrast


If possible, could you tell me what common and/or serious issues could be totally absent on a brain MRI without contrast, yet show up on a brain MRI WITH contrast?

Hello, Jim.

First, I am not a physician. A radiologist would be able to answer this question in much more detail. I'd recommend you ask a physican for more information.

An MRI with contrast can show tumors that may not show without contrast. Contrast can also show meningitis more clearly than without contrast.

Sometimes physicians order MRIs with and without contrast because they think it's a more "complete" exam, when in fact, the contrast is not necessary. If you have any doubt about whether contrast would be helpful in your diagnosis, please discuss this with a radiologist before agreeing to a contrast injection.

Hope this helps,


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Delia White


I am not qualified to interpret diagnostic imaging or to diagnose disease. Please consult a physician for that information. I am the photographer. I can tell you what to expect during most MRI, CT and X-ray procedures.


I now have more than 30 years experience in diagnostic imaging. My specialty is MRI. I am also very familiar with CT and the way we used to take x-rays (everything's digital now)!

I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

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