Brain Imaging and Other Diagnostic Exams
Brain Imaging Exams
- Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
- A CT scan is safe, non-invasive x-ray that uses computers to create multiple images of a specific part of the body from different views. These images can then be compiled into an interactive image on the computer. Usually, the CT scan is more high-quality than an x-ray when it comes to images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels. Also, it is more helpful in analyzing brain diseases, such as head injuries, stroke, and brain tumors.
- Duration of the exam: 30 minutes to 2 hours
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- MRI is a non-invasive imaging procedure that uses a magnetic field and radio frequency pulses to get detailed images of specific parts of the body. No x-rays are used. MRI scans are the most sensitive diagnostic exams and are frequently used to identify and verify brain abnormalities.
- Duration of the exam: 40 minutes to 2 hours
- Ultrasound Imaging
- Ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive procedure that involves the use of high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the insides of a body. These images are real-time and show the movement and structure of internal organs as they are. Ultrasounds are used to access pain, swelling, and infection of internal organs. No harmful radiation is used.
- Duration of the exam: 1 hour
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- An EEG is painless procedure that uses electrodes (sensitive metal discs) that attach to one's scalp and detect the electrical activity of your brain when you are awake and asleep. Brain activity is recorded as wavy lines that appear on a computer screen. An EEG is a common diagnostic method for epilepsy and other brain disorders.
- Preparation for the EEG relies on sleep deprivation. The state of wakefulness and tiredness is necessary for the accuracy of this test. Specific sleeping instructions are given depending on your child's age. Do you need the sleeping schedules?
- Another form of the EEG is called a 24-hour ambulatory EEG. The test requires two days for connection (first day) and disconnection (second day). On the first day, electrodes are attached to your head with special glue and the wires are connected to a portable EEG recorder that is worn on the waist. The EEG recorder will record your brain activity during your normal routine during the day and at night while you sleep. On the second day, the EEG recorder is removed and the glue is washed out of your hair.
- Duration of the exam: 1-2 hours; 24 hours (if 24-hour ambulatory EEG)
Blood tests have many purposes:
- Verify a specific, working diagnosis
- Monitor the level of medication in the body
- Monitor a person's diet and health
- Verify causes of a brain disorder, such as seizures
Dr. Guarino may give you a lab slip to get blood work done for your child. Lab facilities that we refer patients to are Quest Diagnostics, Labcorp, and Hunter Labs. Labs may also be done at the hospital if preferred.
If you have a SCCIPA health plan, you are required to go to Labcorp to get your blood work done.
Genetic testing is a medical procedure that involves analyzing your DNA, the genetic blueprint for your body's life functions, to understand why certain changes in your genes cause a specific disease. This type of testing is very useful in the diagnosis of specific disorders and determining what medication and dosage would be effective for you.