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What Does A Ct Scan Of The Brain Show

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What Are The Different Parts Of The Brain

Low Dose CT Scan of the Brain: what to expect at Memorial Healthcare System

The brain can be divided into the cerebrum, brainstem, and cerebellum:

  • Cerebrum. The cerebrum is composed of the right and left hemispheres. Functions of the cerebrum include: initiation of movement, coordination of movement, temperature, touch, vision, hearing, judgment, reasoning, problem solving, emotions, and learning.

  • Brainstem. The brainstem includes the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla. Functions of this area include: movement of the eyes and mouth, relaying sensory messages , hunger, respirations, consciousness, cardiac function, body temperature, involuntary muscle movements, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and swallowing.

  • Cerebellum. The cerebellum is located at the back of the head. Its function is to coordinate voluntary muscle movements and to maintain posture, balance, and equilibrium.

More specifically, other parts of the brain include the following:

What Happens During A Ct Scan Of The Brain

Brain CT scans may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part ofyour hospital stay. Procedures may vary depending on your condition andyour physician’s practices.

Generally, a brain CT scan involves the following steps:

While the brain CT itself causes no pain, having to lie still for thelength of the procedure might cause some discomfort or pain,particularly in the case of a recent injury or invasive procedure . The technologist will use all possible comfort measures andcomplete the procedure as quickly as possible to minimize anydiscomfort or pain.

Ct Scans Are Better At Spotting Clogged Arteries

“No test is 100 percent accurate 100 percent of the time, but our findings indicate CT angiograms get pretty close to that coveted threshold,” says Armin Zadeh.

You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4.0 International license.

Noninvasive CT scans are far better at finding clogged arteries that can trigger a heart attack than the exercise stress tests most chest pain patients take, research shows.

A new head-to-head comparison of CT angiograms and stress tests show the scans correctly identified blockages in nine out of 10 people, while stress tests picked up blockages in just six of 10.

No test is 100 percent accurate 100 percent of the time, but our findings indicate CT angiograms get pretty close to that coveted threshold, says lead investigator Armin Zadeh, associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University. We hope our findings will settle any residual uncertainty about the effectiveness of these two common noninvasive heart tests.

The most accurate method to detect blocked arteries remains an invasive test called cardiac angiography, which requires a catheter to be threaded into heart vessels. But cardiologists have long relied on so-called stress testing as a simpler, cheaper gatekeeper procedure to identify people more likely to benefit from the riskier, more invasive, and more costly catheterizations.

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Is It Uncomfortable Or Dangerous

The test is painless. To get the scan, you’ll lie on a table. You may get a shot of “contrast material” into one of your veins, which will help doctors see parts of your brain more clearly on the image.

Be sure to tell the doctor or nurse if you’ve had an allergic reaction to contrast material in the past. Your doctor will also need to check your kidney function before using contrast. The dyes have iodine, which can cause a reaction in some people.

The CT scanner uses X-rays, but the amount of radiation you get from them is kept to a minimum. But if you are or think you may be pregnant, let the doctor know — X-rays can be harmful to a growing baby. A child who needs to have a CT scan should get it at a facility that often works with children, so that the lowest possible dose of radiation can be used.

How Do Mri And Ct Scans Differ

Brain MRI and Brain CT in patients with DRPLA. Each image ...

There are several differences between CT scans and MRIs. Usually, your doctor will decide on the best scanning tool for your situation. Here are several ways the two stand apart.

  • Cost: CT scans are almost half the price of MRIs. The average computed tomography scan costs around $1,200 while an MRI is about $2,000.
  • Speed: CT scans take much less time than MRIs. The exact time required depends on whether you need a contrast dye for the procedure, but MRIs always require more time for the scan. A typical CT scan lasts 10 minutes whereas MRIs can take up to an hour or longer.
  • Images: MRIs will produce sharper, more detailed results, especially of soft tissues and behind bones, which may block views on CT scans.
  • Sound level: MRIs tend to be very noisy, and you will get earplugs or headphones to reduce the effect on your ears. CT scans are much quieter than MRIs, and you wont need ear protection during the procedure.

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What Are The Reasons For A Ct Scan Of The Brain

A CT of the brain may be performed to assess the brain for tumors andother lesions, injuries, intracranial bleeding, structural anomalies, particularly whenanother type of examination areinconclusive.

A brain CT may also be used to evaluate the effects of treatment onbrain tumorsand to detect clots in the brain that may be responsible forstrokes. Another use of brain CT is to provide guidance for brain surgery orbiopsies of brain tissue.

There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a CT of thebrain.

Are There Any Risks

CT scans use X-rays, which produce ionizing radiation. Research shows that this kind of radiation may damage your DNA and lead to cancer. But the risk is still very small — your chances of developing a fatal cancer because of a CT scan are about 1 in 2,000.

But radiationâs effect adds up over your lifetime. So your risk increases with every CT scan you get. Talk to your doctor about the procedureâs potential dangers and benefits, and ask why the CT scan is necessary.

Ionizing radiation may be more harmful in children. Thatâs because theyâre still growing. They also have more years to get exposed to radiation. Before the procedure, you may want to ask the doctor or technician if the CT machineâs settings have been adjusted for a child.

Tell your physician if youâre pregnant. If you need imaging for your stomach area, your doctor may recommend an exam that doesnât use radiation, such as an ultrasound.

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What Happens During A Cranial Ct Scan

A cranial CT scanner takes a series of X-rays. A computer then puts these X-ray images together to create detailed pictures of your head. These images help your doctor make a diagnosis.

The procedure is usually done in a hospital or outpatient imaging center. It should take only about 15 minutes to complete your scan.

On the day of the procedure, you must remove jewelry and other metal objects. They can damage the scanner and interfere with the X-rays.

Youll probably be asked to change into a hospital gown. Youll lie on a narrow table either face up or face down, depending on the reasons for your CT scan.

Its very important that you remain completely still during the exam. Even a little movement can blur the images.

Some people find the CT scanner stressful or claustrophobic. Your doctor may suggest a sedative to keep you calm during the procedure. A sedative will also help keep you still. If your child is having the CT scan, their doctor may recommend a sedative for these same reasons.

The table will slowly slide so that your head is inside the scanner. You may be asked to hold your breath for a short period. The scanners X-ray beam will rotate around your head, creating a series of images of your head from different angles. The individual images are called slices. Stacking the slices creates three-dimensional images.

What Is An Mri

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MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. This imager uses radio waves and strong magnets to create a view of your bones, tissues and organs. MRI scans are ideal for getting a detailed, in-depth look at your tissues or organs. Doctors use MRIs to diagnose several conditions including:

  • Breast cancer: Doctors can find breast tumors with an MRI.
  • Tumors: Other cancerous masses around the body appear on an MRI, allowing for examination of suspicious areas.
  • Joint abnormalities: Ligament, joint and tendon problems appear clearly on an MRI.
  • Blood vessel irregularities: Several types of blood vessel issues can appear on an MRI. These issues include aneurysms, damage from previous heart attacks, artery blockages and other problems with the heart or blood vessels.
  • Brain problems: An MRI is often used to diagnose multiple sclerosis, stroke, aneurysms and other conditions that originate or affect the brain or spinal cord.
  • Inflammatory bowel conditions: With an MRI scan, doctors can examine bowel conditions marked by inflammation such as ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease.
  • Liver disease: Damage to the liver from disease or lifestyle, such as cirrhosis, appears on MRIs.
  • Bone disorders: MRIs will show both bones and the soft tissues around them. Seeing both gives your doctor a complete image of your bone health and if you have infections or tumors on or near your bones.

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Risks Of Brain Ct/cat Scans

You may need to ask your health care provider about the amount and levels of radiation used during a CAT procedure and the related risks in relation to your particular condition. Its a good idea to maintain a record of your radiation exposure history if you have had other types of CT or X-rays scans performed on you in the past. Some of the known radiation exposure risks are related to the total number of times a patient has undergone X-ray examinations and treatments.

If you suspect that you are pregnant or are pregnant, then it is important that you let your doctor know well in advance. Exposure to radiation during pregnancy could affect the fetus, resulting in birth defects. If it is really necessary that you have a CAT scan of the brain, then special precautionary measures will have to be employed to ensure that the least amount of radiation is exposed to the fetus.

For nursing mothers, it is advisable that they wait for at least 24 hours before resuming breastfeeding. This way, the contrast material will have exited their systems.

If a contrast material is used, there are chances youll probably react to the mater. Patients who are sensitive to medications or are allergic should notify their physician beforehand. Also, it is important to notify your doctor if you have any kidney problems, or have ever reacted to any contrast media before. A documented allergic reaction to seafood isnt considered an iodinated contrast contraindication.

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Why Did My Doctor Request A Head Ct Scan

CT scans of the head can help your doctor identify or rule out potential health problems. Symptoms that may lead your doctor to order one include:

  • Abnormal behavior
  • Brain infections
  • Fluid buildup

Often times, a doctor will order a head CT scan after a head injury, such as a concussion or if you experience a car accident.

What Happens Before The Test

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  • You may get a drug that will make you feel relaxed and drowsy.
  • You may need to change into a hospital gown, because snaps and zippers in street clothes can interfere with the scan. You also may need to take off your watch, rings, or jewelry. It’s a good idea to leave your valuables, including jewelry, at home.

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What A Ct Scan Of The Head And Brain Shows

CT scans, short for computed tomography, are common imaging tests doctors use to diagnose certain medical conditions. There are a variety of conditions CT imaging can identify, and if your doctor orders a head or brain CT scan, you probably have questions about the procedure and what to expect from it.

What Happens After The Brain Ct Scan

You will be asked to do the following after a CT scan of the brain:

  • If given a sedative, you will have to have a family member or friend drive you home.
  • Drink lots of water in order to flush out the dye from the body with urine.
  • Observe closely for 24 hours as you may develop an allergic reaction to the dye. You may notice symptoms such as a rash or hives on the skin, nausea, breathlessness or swelling of the parotid glands in the mouth or even shock. There may also be redness, pain or swelling at the site of the intravenous injection. If you observe any such symptoms, contact your doctor or hospital immediately.

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What Concerns Do People Have About Either Imaging Method

For CT, I hear anxiety about exposure to radiation, especially if it is being done repeatedly. For example, certain early-stage cancers can be cured. But you might be coming back every few months or every year for a CT scan. The question is: Do we have an alternative? For detecting cancer that has come back throughout the body, a CT scan is preferable to an MRI. As radiologists, we follow a measure called as low as reasonably achievable. This means we give enough radiation to create CT images that are of high enough quality that we can make a good clinical decision, but we keep the radiation as low as possible to minimize risk.

For MRI, people who have trouble with claustrophobia or are unable to hold their breath, which may be required for certain abdominal imaging tests, may not be able to tolerate the procedure. Some MRI machines can be configured in ways that may reduce claustrophobia. Medical implants, such as a pacemaker, brain stimulator, or other devices, are another complicating factor. The radio waves used with MRI can heat up devices made of metal. This is potentially a concern for something inside the body. Newer medical devices are usually designed with this in mind, so they are safe inside an MRI.

When Ct Scans Are Used

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CT scans can produce detailed images of many structures inside the body, including the internal organs, blood vessels and bones.

They can be used to:

  • diagnose conditions including damage to bones, injuries to internal organs, problems with blood flow, stroke, and cancer
  • guide further tests or treatments for example, CT scans can help determine the location, size and shape of a tumour before having radiotherapy, or allow a doctor to take a needle biopsy or drain an abscess
  • monitor conditions including checking the size of tumours during and after cancer treatment

CT scans wouldn’t normally be used to check for problems if you don’t have any symptoms .

This is because the benefits of screening may not outweigh the risks, particularly if it leads to unnecessary testing and anxiety.

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Preparing For A Ct Scan

Some CT scans need special preparation beforehand.

For most scans, you have a drink or an injection of contrast medium, or both. This is a dye that shows up body tissues more clearly on the scan. You have the injection through a small thin tube in your arm. The tube is left in place until after your scan, in case you have any problems after having the injection.

A couple of hours before your scan you might need to stop eating and drinking. Talk to your doctor if not eating is a problem for you for example, if you have diabetes.

Preparing For A Head Or Brain Ct Scan

On the day of your CT scan, you may be asked not to eat or drink for a period of time before your scan. This helps ensure quality images, which are essential for getting to the root of your health condition.

Some head CT scans require use of a contrast dye. In this case, the imaging center staff administers this to you intravenously before your scan.

Additionally, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown and to remove jewelry before the scan.

Whether you undergo a head or brain CT, you should not experience any pain from the exam.

After your scan, the results are sent to your doctor, who reviews them and then discusses your diagnosis and next steps with you.

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