Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, scans of brain tumors are three-dimensional images of the brain created by radio waves and magnetic fields. MRIs are among the best types of imaging for diagnosing brain tumors, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. An MRI has a higher sensitivity than a CT scan, which, according to WebMD, is used as the first test by many institutions.
MRI scans take pictures of slices of the brain and use them to create a three-dimensional view. In some cases, contrast dye may be injected to enhance the image of the brain. Physicians use the MRI to detect the presence and location of the tumor. A biopsy is then performed to determine if the tumor is cancerous.In 2015, 22,850 malignant brain and spinal cord tumors are expected to be diagnosed, based on data from the American Cancer Society.