Melbourne Radiology Clinic
Ground Floor
Suite 3-6, 100 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Ph: 03 9667 1667
Fax: 03 9667 1666



Paediatric MRI Series – Brain

MRI Gallery - MRI of the Paediatric Brain / Head

Paediatric MRI Series:

MRI is the imaging modality of choice for the assessment of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

MRI avoids the use of radiation and has superior contrast resolution when compared to CT, with the ability to reliably discriminate between the grey and white matter as well as the deep nuclei. Furthermore, imaging techniques allow for the ability to assess for flow in arteries as well as veins in order to exclude abnormalities, such as an aneurysm (focal outpouching which may rupture causing bleeding), stenosis (or blockage, potentially leading to a stroke) as well as developmental abnormalities such as arteriovenous malformations and fistulae (abnormal direct communication between the arterial and venous systems).

Importantly, MRI is useful for the assessment of developmental abnormalities that may predispose children to epilepsy, as well as assess for the presence of neoplasms (tumours) of the brain and surrounding structures.


Figure 1. MRI assessment of the skull base in a child demonstrates the presence of a left sided benign arachnoid cyst (arrow) located at the cerebellopontine angle.

Figure 2. MRI of the brain of a child demonstrates the presence of a benign simple cyst of the pineal gland (arrow).

MRI images may be manipulated to perform 3D images of anatomic structures that may warrant further evaluation in order to detect an abnormality as well as to comprehend its extent.

For example, multiple fine slices of the arterial system utilising a technique known as MR Angiography (MRA) may then be “stacked” together to produce volume rendered images such as in the case below.

Figure 3. Normal MR angiogram, demonstrating normal arteries of the brain, known as the circle of Willis.

MRI  Large Bleed (Haematoma)

Figure 4 & 5. Axial and coronal images through the brain demonstrates a large bright collection external to the brain, that is encased within the skull (calvarium). This is in keeping with a  large bleed (haematoma) which the patient sustained following a fall and who presented with altered character. The patient was urgently sent to hospital by way of ambulance in order to remove (evacuate) the haematoma.

Figure 6. Normal MRI of the orbits.

MRI scans of the brain in children under 16 that are eligible for the Medicare rebate referred by GPs are bulk billed at Melbourne Radiology Clinic.

MBS Item Description

Referral by a medical practitioner (excluding a specialist or consultant physician) for a scan of head/brain for a patient under 16 years where:

  • unexplained seizure(s)
  • unexplained headache where significant pathology is suspected
  • paranasal sinus pathology which has not responded to conservative therapy
GP Referred