Why Might I Need A Brain Perfusion Scan
You might need a brain perfusion scan if your healthcare provider needs information about how the blood is flowing in your brain. For example, your healthcare provider may recommend a brain perfusion scan if you have one of the following conditions:
- Brain tumor
- Recent head injury
You also might need a brain perfusion scan if you need an operation on one of the vessels in your brain or neck and your healthcare provider wants to examine the flow of blood through your brain.
Your healthcare provider may also recommend other tests, such as a carotid ultrasound, a CT angiogram, a magnetic resonance angiogram, or an angiogram.
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Our brain imaging work has made it clear that mental health conditions are actually brain health issues that steal your mind. These issues often go undetected or are misdiagnosed, and symptoms can be debilitating for years. Amen Clinics is different because we use a brain imaging diagnostic tool called SPECT to help accurately identify underlying brain issues that can contribute to symptoms. This means you get the right diagnosis and most effective treatment for faster healing. Isnt it time to start feeling better today?
Why The Test Is Performed
A PET scan can show the size, shape, and function of the brain, so your doctor can make sure it is working as well as it should. It is most often used when other tests, such as MRI scan or CT scan, do not provide enough information.
This test can be used to:
- Diagnose cancer
- Help diagnose dementia if other tests and exams do not provide enough information
- Tell the difference between Parkinson disease and other movement disorders
Several PET scans may be taken to determine how well you are responding to treatment for cancer or another illness.
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Preparation And Precautions To Consider
The scanner table is very narrow. Ask if there is a weight limit for the CT scanner table if you weigh more than 300 pounds.
Be sure to tell your doctor if youre pregnant. X-rays of any kind arent recommended for pregnant women.
Youll want to be aware of some extra precautions if contrast dye will be used. For example, special measures must be taken for people on the diabetes medicine metformin . Be sure to let your doctor know if you take this drug. Also tell your doctor if youve ever suffered an adverse reaction to contrast dye.
Enter The Scanning Room
Medical staff will guide you into a special room that holds the MRI scanner. An MRI machine looks like a giant tube with openings at both ends. If youve experienced an MRI in the past, you may be expecting a tight tube. Newer machines are bigger and provide more space, which may help ease claustrophobia.
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What Are The Risks
MRI is very safe. There are no known health risks associated with the magnetic field or the radio waves used by the machine. Some people are sensitive to the contrast agent and may develop an allergic reaction. All contrast agents are FDA-approved and safe.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you have diabetes or kidney problems. In some cases a kidney function test may be needed prior to the MRI to make sure your kidneys are able to clear the contrast agent from your body.
Some special circumstances limit the use of a magnetic field, so itâs important for you to tell your doctor if any of the following apply to you:
- cardiac pacemaker or artificial heart valve
- metal plate, pin, or other metallic implant
- intrauterine device, such as Copper-7 IUD
- insulin or other drug pump
- aneurysm clips
- cochlear implant or other hearing device
- employment history as a metalworker
- permanent eye-liner
Any metallic substance on your body can affect the quality of the images. It can also cause discomfort or injury to you when placed in the magnetic field, and may exclude you from the exam.
Also, be sure to tell your doctor if youâre pregnant. The American College of Radiology recommends that MRI scanning not be done in the first trimester of pregnancy. After the first trimester, there is no definitive research indicating that MRI is contraindicated in pregnancy. However, you will need to obtain a written order from your gynecologist for the test to be performed.
What Is A Brain Scan
A brain scan is an image of the brain that can be obtained by specific types of X-rays. When a medical professional orders a scan, he may be looking for abnormalities, such as a stroke or a brain tumor. He determines who needs this type of X-ray based on the the symptoms the individual is experiencing. There are two main types: computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging .
The CT scan is usually the first type of image that is ordered if an individual presents to the emergency room with symptoms of a stroke. During a CT, the individual will lie on a table, which will slide into a large circular tube. The interior of the scanner rotates around the individual to take pictures of the entire brain. Sometimes, the healthcare professional may order a contrast material injected into the vein to help highlight abnormal areas in the brain.
These images can be viewed by the medical professional in “slices” to detect any abnormalities. The brain on a CT scan will look gray, and any abnormalities will show up as darker or white areas in the brain or surrounding tissue. The type of stroke that an individual experiences can usually be determined by the CT brain scan.
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Eeg Brain Scanning Pros And Cons
EEG brain scans can provide information that other brain scans do not detect. EEG brain scans detect electrical activity and brain waves. Neurons communicate via electrical signals, so EEG may be used to see brain activity as it unfolds in real-time. One of the biggest advantages to EEG brain scans is the detailed level, down to milliseconds, at which they can detect brain activity. The downside to this specialized application of EEG brain scans is that this level of detail does not reveal the precise location where the activity originates. Another challenge with EEG brain scans is that certain types of EEG electrodes may pick up interference from other electrical signals nearby electric signals associated with the activity of facial muscles. This interferes with the precision of the scan. EEG brain scans do not result in a visual output. Other types of brain scans are required to form a full picture of the brain map, in conjunction with the EEG data.
Allergic Reaction To Contrast
Tell your doctor before the scan if youve ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
Contrast dye commonly contains iodine and may cause nausea, vomiting, rash, hives, itching, or sneezing in people who are allergic to iodine. You may be given steroids or antihistamines to help with these symptoms before you receive the dye injection. after the test, you may need to drink extra fluids to help flush the iodine from the body if you have diabetes or kidney disease.
In very rare cases, contrast dye can cause anaphylaxis, a whole-body allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. Notify the scanner operator immediately if you have trouble breathing.
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How A Brain Pet Scan Is Performed
Youll be brought into the procedure room and seated in a chair. A technician will insert an intravenous catheter into your arm. A special dye with radioactive tracers will be injected into your veins through this IV.
Your body needs time to absorb the tracers as blood flows through the brain, so youll wait before the scan begins. This typically takes about an hour.
Next, youll undergo the scan. This involves lying on a narrow table attached to the PET machine, which looks like a giant toilet paper roll. The table glides slowly and smoothly into the machine so the scan can be completed.
You will have to lie still during the scans. The technician will tell you when you need to remain motionless.
The scans record brain activity as its happening. These can be recorded as video or as still images. The tracers are concentrated in areas of increased blood flow.
When the desired images are stored in the computer, youll exit the machine. The test is then complete.
Limitations Of Brain Scans
Even though brain scans have many benefits, they do have some limitations. Mental illness is tricky to diagnose and not everyone with the same diagnosis will show the same brain abnormalities. Also, there might be multiple reasons for a single type of brain abnormality. Brain scans might also have difficulty identifying brain abnormalities during the early stages of certain mental health conditions. Generally, though, brain scans provide limited insight when:
- Mental illness presents differently in different individuals
- Mental health patients have overlapping symptoms or multiple diagnoses
- A mental health condition is in the earlier stages
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What Is A Brain Perfusion Scan
A brain perfusion scan is a type of brain test that shows the amount of blood taken up in certain areas of your brain. This can provide information on how your brain is functioning. There are several different types of brain perfusion scans. Some tests, such as a single photon emission computed tomography or a positron emission scan, use radiotracers, which are radioactive substances that emit tiny particles. Other tests, such as the computed tomography perfusion or magnetic resonance imaging perfusion, do not use radiotracers.
The areas of the brain that are very active often show greater blood supply as well as greater oxygen and glucose use. Tracking these increases can show which areas of your brain are most active. These factors might be lower in areas of the brain that are injured or not highly active.
During a brain perfusion scan using a radiotracer, your healthcare provider will inject a radiotracer into a vein in your arm. Your provider will then use a special camera to detect the tiny radioactive particles emitted by the radiotracer. The camera can track how the radioactive substance spreads throughout your brain. The brain perfusion scan can show which areas of your brain received most of this radioactive substance. This lets your provider know which areas of your brain were the most active during your scan.
What Do They Look For In A Brain Scan
Regardless of the type of brain scan you have, neuroimaging can help:
- Detect damaged brain tissue, an injured skull, or impaired blood vessels
- Identify bleeding, blood clots, and other signs of a stroke
- Diagnose brain cancer
- Researchers study healthy brain development, mental illness, and the effects of mental health treatments on the brain
Brain scans can also help doctors find the right diagnosis for mood and behavioral problems, but they are not yet intricate enough to reliably diagnose mental health conditions on their own.
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What Kind Of Equipment Is Used In An Mri
A typical MRI machine is a large tube with a hole at both ends. A magnet surrounds the tube. You lie on a table that slides all the way into the tube.
In a short-bore system, you are not totally inside the MRI machine. Only the part of your body that’s being scanned is inside. The rest of your body is outside the machine.
An open MRI is open on all sides. This type of machine may be best if you have claustrophobia — a fear of tight spaces — or you’re very overweight. The quality of images from some open MRI machines isn’t as good as it is with a closed MRI.
What Are The Risks Of A Brain Perfusion Scan
Most people dont have any trouble with their brain perfusion scan. Possible risks include allergic reactions to substances used in the injection or slight pain at the injection site.
Some brain perfusion scans also expose you to radiation. In high doses, radiation is quite dangerous and increases your lifetime risk of cancer, but these studies only use a small amount of radiation. Your healthcare provider will only recommend these brain perfusion scans if your risks from not getting the test are greater than the risks of the test itself. MRI perfusion, however, does not involve radiation or radiotracers.
Talk to your healthcare provider about the possible risks of your brain perfusion scan. Your risks may vary according to your medical conditions, the reason for your scan, and the exact type of brain perfusion scan you receive.
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How The Test Is Performed
A PET scan requires a small amount of radioactive material . This tracer is given through a vein , usually on the inside of your elbow. Or, you breathe in the radioactive material as a gas.
The tracer travels through your blood and collects in organs and tissues. The tracer helps your health care provider to see certain areas or diseases more clearly.
You wait nearby as the tracer is absorbed by your body. This usually takes about 1 hour.
Then, you lie on a narrow table, which slides into a large tunnel-shaped scanner. The PET scanner detects signals from the tracer. A computer changes the results into 3-D pictures. The images are displayed on a monitor for your provider to read.
You must lie still during the test so that the machine can produce clear images of your brain. You may be asked to read or name letters if your memory is being tested.
The test takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
What Are The Limitations Of Mri Of The Head
High-quality images depend on your ability to remain perfectly still and follow breath-holding instructions while the images are being recorded. If you are anxious, confused or in severe pain, you may find it difficult to lie still during imaging.
A person who is very large may not fit into certain types of MRI machines. There are weight limits on the scanners.
Implants and other metallic objects can make it difficult to obtain clear images. Patient movement can have the same effect.
A very irregular heartbeat may affect the quality of images. This is because some techniques time the imaging based on the electrical activity of the heart.
MRI is generally not recommended for seriously injured patients. However, this decision is based on clinical judgment. This is because traction devices and life support equipment may distort the MR images. As a result, they must be kept away from the area to be imaged. Some trauma patients, however, may need MRI.
Present data show no convincing evidence that non contrast MRI harms the fetus of a pregnant woman. However, if the need for the exam is not time sensitive your doctor may delay the exam until after delivery. MRI gadolinium contrast agents are generally avoided during pregnancy except in very specific circumstances. Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of any MRI procedure with you. Doctors may perform MRI after the first trimester to assess the fetus for findings that are not fully evaluated by 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 Are Some Common Uses Of The Mri Procedure
MRI is used to detect brain tumors, strokes and play a role in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. In addition, it can be used to follow the progression of disorders head trauma, bleeding in the brain, tumors of the pituitary. The technique is also very useful to identify masses that may be impinging on the back of the eyes or ears.
What preparations are required for an MRI?
Because MRI scanning uses a strong magnetic field, one must wear loose clothes without any metal zippers or metallic buttons. No jewelry should be worn and all keys, coins, credit cards, dentures, eye glasses, etc must be removed. Since many cosmetics may contain metallic powders, it is advisable not to wear make up.
What happens during the scanning session?
At the radiology suite, you will be asked to lie down on a table and made comfortable. The table will then move you into a tunnel and the machine will obtain the necessary images. At this point in time, you have to hold your breath so as to avoid any motion artifacts. The entire scanning only takes a few minutes with no exposure of radiation Some patients will require an injection of a contrast material to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. An intravenous line is placed in an arm and contrast material will be administered just when the bed moves into the tunnel.
What happens to the results of the scan?
Who should not have an MRI?
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