How To Read An MRI Of the Brain Scans?

  • Share this:
How To Read An MRI Of the Brain Scans?

How to read an MRI of the Brain Scan: The 4 Most Common Techniques!


An MRI of the brain is the most commonly performed medical imaging test in 2022. It is the process by which magnetic fields & radio waves lead to the generation of a detailed image of your brain structures; through the help of the tissue’s proton or hydrogen level! Clinicians use various MRI techniques to observe & assess brain anatomy & pathology.


That is exactly what we are going to find out today! How to read an MRI of a Brain Scan? How do doctors or radiologists read them? What do they see?


Before learning how to read an MRI of the brain,

Let us quickly go through some basic facts about Brain MRI!

  • It is the most sensitive imaging method as one conducted over the structure of the brain & spinal cord.
  • The process involves the stimulation of excitement among the tissue protons, thereby emitting electromagnetic back to the machine!
  • The MRI machine determines their intensity and translates them into an MRI image; the gray-scale one!
  • Clinicians use two terms – hypointense & hyperintense – to describe the MRI report of your Brain, keeping the grey matter as the referral point! Everything that stands darker than the grey matter is called hypointense & everything brighter is hyperintense!
  •  Sometimes, in a Brain MRI, contrast agents like gadolinium can lay used to enhance the visual contrast between the primary assessment structure & its surrounding tissues!
  • The three mostly used MRI sequences for a Brain Scan are T1-weighted, T-2 Weighted, and Flair! While T1-WEIGHTED is specialized to see structures of fat, the T2-WEIGHTED Technique is meant to see the fluids.
  • Stir techniques is only one of the common MRI sequencing technique.


Let’s unveil the 4 techniques of MRI sequencing: For the Brain! 

  1. T1 Weighted Technique –

T1 Weighted Technique is the one that serves the most anatomical image. It makes one tissue look bright; that is the fat tissues, and simultaneously suppresses the sign of liquid. It is the basic pulse sequence in brain MRI imaging to depict structural differences following the time of repetition (TR) & the time of echo (TE). But the TE & TR used here are short ones!


It is more often practiced with the assistance of contrast dye or sedatives to have a clear view of the anatomy for your doctor to read your condition precisely and bring up the best possible treatment!

T1 Weighted Technique is the tissue-sensitive sequence where your cerebrospinal fluid shall appear black; so as the bones! Herein, the grey matter appears grey in the imaging, the white matter looks white, and adipose tissue looks white in the MRI imaging of a Brain.

Even though you cannot read it entirely, your doctor can!

  1. T2 Weighted Technique –

T2 Weighted Technique is the water-sensitive sequence – the one serving highlights the structures containing a high amount of water! This does not mean you cannot get to read the fat tissues accurately; they too, look bright in a T2 Weighted sequence. Here also, the Brain MRI imaging brings forth the structural differences on the basis of TR & TTE. However, they are the longer ones; relaxation time of the tissue is what we call!

Do you know T2w is a more commonly used technique than T1w? That’s true!

The T2w technique, being more prominent in identifying numerous structural diseases in the human brain or body, to be precise, has an edge over the T1w sequence!

In a T2 Weighted Technique, your cerebrospinal fluid shall appear in white, the adipose tissue also in white; the grey matter shall appear in grey, the white matter shall appear in dark grey, and the bones shall appear in black.

Could you read your MRI imaging of Brain Scan now?

  1. Flair Technique –

Fluid Attenuated Inversion Recovery Technique, in short flair technique, is the third most commonly used MRI sequence. It is almost similar to the T2 Weighted Technique, but the TR & TE is too long in this case! As a result, the structural abnormalities look bright, but the cerebrospinal fluid turns darker in appearance.

Such a sequence is undoubtedly useful in assessing the structures of the central nervous system, along with the periventricular areas, gyri, & sulci! If it is a plague in multiple sclerosis or maybe a subtle post-stroke oedema, the flair technique is the most efficient diagnostic sequence in a brain scan!

It is very sensitive to pathology and has the potential to make the distinction between cerebrospinal fluid & an abnormality readable to the human eye! So, you can see the adipose tissue in white, the grey matter in grey, the white matter in dark grey, the bones in black, and the cerebrospinal fluid having a darker shade than in T2w MRI imaging.

See if you can read your MRI imaging this way if it was a flair technique!

  1. Stir Technique –

Although a less common technique, the Short tau Inversion Recovery sequence or the Stir MRI sequence is based on the T2w sequence with a little twist & manipulation. This manipulation is basically made to differentiate between the fat or other materials giving similar signals in T2w imaging!

Contrary to other fat-suppressing sequences, Stir cannot take place under the presence of gadolinium contrast dyes! It prevents the signals coming from the fatty tissues to pass through and enables water to look bright. Yes. The Stir Technique of an MRI Brain is highly water sensitive!

In this sequence, the white matter shall appear darker than grey, the grey matter in grey, bones in black, cerebrospinal fluids in white, fat, air, bone marrow, and moving blood all in dark, and muscles darker than the fat!

If you are able to differentiate it on your MRI Brain Scan plate, you will know what’s wrong. If not, wait for your doctor to read it for you!

Last Words:

No matter, whether you can read the MRI Brain Scan on your own by following the easiest & systematic approach, as said, for all the four techniques, whichever you opted for, or you cannot, do not welcome anxiety in any way! Remember that those reports are a necessary evil!


If you are looking for an MRI Brain in Chandigarh, feel free to book one at a 40% discount on our website,

You may also call on this number 8699572364 for further information

0 0 votes
Article Rating

About author
Hi, I am Alka Tiwari, Founder & Patient Care Executive at Helping you get the diagnostics scans services like MRI, CT Scan, UltraSound & PET Scan, etc at the best price. At MRIChandigarh's blog, I will be writing to create awareness and to educate you about how and where to get diagnostic scans done in Chandigarh at the best price with best-in-class services.
View all posts (221)
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 months ago

Yes it is very helpful

Opening Hours

  • Monday - Sunday 24 Hours

Get in Touch

MRI Chandigarh - Best MRI Scan Centre in Chandigarh for all MRI, CT Scan and PET Scans. Get most comfortable MRI scan at best price with free pick and drop facility in tricity.

    Alka Tiwari

    Alka Tiwari
    Typically replies within few minutes

    Alka Tiwari
    Hi there 👋

    How can I help you?
    Chat with Us
    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x