Dizziness and Vertigo during MRI
A healthy 33-year-old man who was participating in a research study underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a 7-tesla MRI scanner. On entering the scanner, he had a spinning sensation for approximately 2 minutes that persisted whether his eyes were open or closed. Nystagmus was recorded with infrared video goggles (see video) and continued for the entire 90-minute period during which the patient was inside the scanner. Labyrinthine excitation in association with MRI is a normal phenomenon that is caused by an interaction between the fluids in the inner ear and the natural forces of a static magnetic field. Sensations vary; technicians and patients often describe dizziness when they are inside or near 3-tesla MRI scanners even before imaging begins, and vertigo on exposure to stronger magnetic fields is common. On exiting the MRI scanner, the patient felt vertiginous for a few more minutes and remained unsteady for several hours, after which there was complete resolution of his symptoms...