Sunday, May 29, 2022

What Is A Ct Scan Of The Brain

Don't Miss

Is It Uncomfortable Or Dangerous

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

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.

The Advantages Of The Mri

1. The MRI is much better for children and capturing multiple images because of the lack of radiation involved. The MRI is safer for repeated use by the patients who need lots of scans. CTs are even known to cause cancer if used multiple times.

2. MRIs have a greater capacity and range for details of the brain. It captures more detail when there are brain abnormalities. MRIs have 3D imaging capabilities.

3. The MRI has less risk for allergic individuals. These risks by allergic patients can be lethal.

4. MRI captures a greater evaluation of a structure in the brain when there are obstructions. Best for more complex issues.

5. MRI provides for better contrasts than CT Scans You can better highlight images in the brain. For the detection of brain tumors the MRI is considered a much better choice.

Depending on your age, condition and the time needed for an evaluation there are two ways to see what is going on in the brain without being invasive.

Advantages Of Ct Scans

Compared to MRI scans, there are several advantages of CT scans. For larger individuals who may not fit comfortably inside traditional MRI devices, CT scans may be a better choice due to their more open design. Because this procedure produces results so much faster than an MRI, it is doctors preferred choice for a scanner for making a diagnosis in an emergency. When time is of the essence in determining the cause of stroke to start treatment, a CT scan cannot be matched. Doctors can identify if the stroke occurred from hemorrhaging or by a blocked artery.

Recommended Reading: What Do They Do For A Brain Bleed

How To Prepare For A Brain Scan

You should ideally wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing as you go to your exam. Before the procedure starts, you may be given a gown to wear.

Any metal objects including things like dentures, jewelry, hair pins, eyeglasses, etc. may affect the CT images and should therefore be removed before your exam or left at home altogether. You might also be asked to remove any removable dental work and hearing aids. If possible, you may be asked to remove any piercings. Women might also be asked to remove bras that contain metal underwire.

You will also be asked in advance not to drink or eat anything several hours beforehand, particularly if your exam involves the use of a contrast material. Make sure that you inform your doctor of any medications that youre taking, and any allergies you might have. In case you have any known allergies to contrast dyes or material, your physician might prescribe some medications to minimize the risk of developing an allergic reaction. You should take the medications as instructed, typically 12 hours before the administration of the contrast material. To prevent unnecessary delays, be sure to contact your physician before the exact time of the exam.

For women, you should always inform your CT technologist and your physician if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant.

Who Should Not Have A Ct Scan

Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Brain

Not everyone should have a CT scan. While the scans are relatively benign, they do expose you to radiation. The chances of developing cancer from one CT scan are around one in 2,000, but radiation exposure builds over your life. Because too much exposure to radiation in childhood could lead to cancer as an adult, doctors tend to not recommend CT scans for children or those who require multiple scans.

You should discuss with your doctor if youre allergic to iodine contrast dyes, which are often used for CT scans. If you are, you may be a better candidate for an MRI. Iodine can cause severe allergic reactions in those with sensitivities to this substance.

Pregnant women who need abdominal imaging may risk exposing their unborn child to radiation during a CT scan. If you are pregnant, voice your concerns about the risks of radiation from a CT scan with your physician. Inquire as to whether another imaging option will suffice.

Read Also: How Does Parkinson’s Disease Affect The Brain

Is Ct Scan Harmful For Body

At the low doses of radiation a CT scan uses, your risk of developing cancer from it is so small that it cant be reliably measured. Because of the possibility of an increased risk, however, the American College of Radiology advises that no imaging exam be done unless there is a clear medical benefit.

How Are Ct Scans Used

CT scanning is ideal for getting detailed images of bony structures as well as imaging bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels all at once. CT is capable of producing good soft tissue differentiation, as well, particularly when IV contrast is used. CT is commonly used for diagnosing lung and chest problems and detecting cancers, and emergency rooms rely heavily on CT scanning because it produces fast, detailed results.

Recommended Reading: How Do Puzzles Help The Brain

Visit Our Diagnostic Imaging Centers For An Mri Or Ct Scan

The facility you select for your MRI or CT scan makes a difference in your experience. Visit a diagnostic imaging center that works with you to give you the best experience possible. If your doctor requested an MRI, we have open MRI scanners, open bore and short bore machines to make the scan more comfortable and less confining. Our centers also have top-notch MRI equipment that is the best technology available for this type of scanning.

Like our MRI scanners, we have top-of-the-line CT scanners to create 3D images of your body. We make the most of your time, and most scans take under an hour to complete. Well schedule the scan at a time that is convenient for you, and you dont have to worry about calling your insurance company to check for coverage. Our offices coordinate with your insurance company to see how much your plan covers the scan. When your doctor needs quick results from your scan, rely on our imaging centers, which have the fastest time for results to be returned in the industry. Thanks to the speed and clarity of our imaging equipment, we help your doctor to quickly and accurately diagnose your condition.

Ct Scan Of The Head/brain

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

CT of the head: A volume rendering of a three-dimensional set of computed tomography images shown as a two-dimensional projection. In this case, extremely thin slices were created from the original scan and sent to a separate computer, which transformed them into these 3D images. The surgeon then used these images to aid in surgical planning to repair fractures, including one clearly visible in the jaw and others on the bridge of the nose and the outer edges of the eye sockets.

You May Like: Does Lsd Kill Brain Cells

Orbital Views For Eye

Special views focusing on the orbit of the eye may be taken to investigate concerns relating to the eye. CT scans are used by physicians specializing in treating the eye to detect foreign bodies , fractures, abscesses, cellulitis, sinusitis, bleeding within the skull , proptosis, Graves disease changes in the eye, and evaluation of the orbital apex and cavernous sinus.

What Is An Mri

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.

Don’t Miss: What Does The Hippocampus Do In The Brain

What Is A Head Ct Scan

A head CT scan produces three-dimensional pictures of your head, referred to as slices. These images are created when X-ray beams are rotated around the head and neck, allowing technicians to observe a 2D representation of this area. These slices allow your doctor to see your skull, brain, sinuses, eye sockets and more in order to diagnose a range of conditions.

How To Prepare For The Test

Brain Jack Image: Brain Ct Scan

Certain CT exams require a special dye, called contrast material. It is delivered into the body before the test starts. Contrast helps certain areas show up better on x-rays.

  • Contrast can be given through a vein in your hand or forearm. If contrast is used, you may also be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 to 6 hours before the test.
  • Let your health care provider know if you have ever had a reaction to contrast. You may need to take medicines before the test in order to safely receive it.
  • Before receiving the contrast, tell your provider if you take the diabetes medicine metformin . You may need to take extra precautions. Also let your provider know if you have any kidney function problems as the IV contrast can worsen this problem.

If you weigh more than 300 pounds , find out if the CT machine has a weight limit. Some machines do.

You will be asked to remove jewelry and may need to wear a hospital gown during the study.

Also Check: What Part Of The Brain Initiates Voluntary Movement

About The Scan Brain Ct Scan

SMIL performs brain CT imaging to help detect:

  • bleeding, brain injury and skull fractures in patients with head injuries.
  • bleeding caused by a ruptured or leaking aneurysm in a patient with a sudden severe headache.
  • a blood clot or bleeding within the brain shortly after a patient exhibits symptoms of a stroke.
  • a stroke.
  • enlarged brain cavities in patients with hydrocephalus.
  • diseases or malformations of the skull.

In a brain CT, you will be positioned on the moveable examination table, usually lying flat on your back or less commonly, on your side or on your stomach.

Next, the table will move quickly through the scanner to determine the correct starting position for the scans. Then, the table will move slowly through the machine as the actual CT scanning is performed.

You may be asked to hold your breath during the scanning. Any motion, whether breathing or body movements, can lead to artifacts on the images.

When the brain CT examination is completed, you will be asked to wait until the SMIL technologist verifies that the images are of high enough quality for accurate interpretation.

A brain CT scan is usually completed within 15 minutes.

Learn how to prepare for the scan in the brain CT Scan preparations section.

Find out if this procedure is right for you in the benefits and risks of brain CT scan section.

For a downloadable/printable PDF about this exam with preparation instructions

What Happens During The Ct Scan

  • If you get a shot of contrast material, you may feel flushed, or you may have a metallic taste in your mouth. These are common reactions. If you have shortness of breath or any unusual symptoms, tell the person who’s giving you the test — the technologist.
  • The technologist will help you lie in the correct position on the examining table. The table will then automatically move into place for imaging. Itâs very important that you lie as still as possible during the procedure. Movement could blur the images.
  • The technicians may ask you to hold your breath briefly at some points when they’re taking the X-ray images.

Read Also: What Does Fluoride Do To Your Brain

What Is A Brain Pet Scan

A brain positron emission tomography scan is an imaging test that allows doctors to see how your brain is functioning.

The scan captures images of the activity of the brain after radioactive tracers have been absorbed into the bloodstream. These tracers are attached to compounds like glucose . Glucose is the principal fuel of the brain.

Active areas of the brain will be utilizing glucose at a higher rate than inactive areas. When highlighted under a PET scanner, it allows doctors to see how the brain is working and helps them detect any abnormalities.

Its typically an outpatient procedure. This means youll be able to go about your day after the test is complete.

What Happens After The Brain Ct Scan

Basics of Brain Anatomy on CT Scan of Head

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.

Read Also: Why Do People Get Brain Freeze

How To Prepare For A Brain Pet Scan

Your doctor will provide you with complete instructions to help you prepare for your brain PET scan.

Alert your doctor to any medications you may be taking, whether theyre prescription, over the counter, or even nutritional supplements.

You may be instructed not to eat anything for up to eight hours before your procedure. You will be able to drink water.

Tell your doctor if youre pregnant or believe you could be pregnant. The test might be unsafe for your fetus.

You should also tell your doctor about any medical conditions you may have. For example, people with diabetes will likely be given special instructions for the test. Fasting beforehand could negatively affect their blood sugar levels.

Immediately before the test, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove all of your jewelry.

Of course, you want to plan your day around your appointment as well.

Why You Might Have A Ct Scan

You usually have a CT scan of the brain to help diagnose a brain tumour. It can help to find where the tumour is and whether it has spread.

You may also have a CT scan of your tummy and chest to check whether you have cancer anywhere else in your body. This is because in adults, cancer that has spread to the brain from another part of the body is much more common than cancer that started in the brain .

You May Like: Hippocampal Dysfunction

What Are The Different Parts Of The Brain

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:

Following Up After A Brain Pet Scan

A: Non

Its a good idea to drink plenty of fluids after the test to help flush the tracers out of your system. Generally all tracers are out of your body after two days.

Other than that, youre free to go about your life unless your doctor gives you other instructions.

Meanwhile, a specialist trained in reading PET scans will interpret the images and share the information with your doctor. Your doctor will then go over the results at a follow-up appointment.

The images of brain PET scans appear as multicolored images of the brain, ranging from dark blue to deep red. Areas of active brain activity come up in warmer colors, such as yellow and red.

Your doctor will look at these scans and check for abnormalities.

For example, a brain tumor will show up as darker spots on the PET scan. A person with Alzheimers and other forms of dementia will have larger-than-normal portions of their brain appear darker on the scan.

In both of these cases, the dark areas signify areas of the brain that are impaired.

Your doctor will go over your personal scan to explain what the results mean and what will be the next course of action.

You May Like: How Do Steroids Affect The Brain

More articles

Popular Articles