Brain scans refer to a wide variety of imaging tests that reveal functions, activity or damage within the brain. Some exams measure cerebral oxygen and blood volume, while others show details of the internal structures of the brain.
Specialists at Dignity Health Southern California may use brain images to rule out a disorder, confirm a diagnosis, or monitor brain activity. Brain scans help our neurologists understand the brain’s structures to provide the most effective, personalized treatment for you.
Find a Doctor today for personal care while you receive a brain scan in Southern California.
Are You a Candidate for a Brain Scan?
People with symptoms of a neurological disorder may need a brain scan to help evaluate and diagnose potential problems. Abnormal head movements, visual or auditory hallucinations, tremors, and severe headache are all reasons why your doctor may recommend a brain scan.
Other disorders that typically require brain scans include:
Your doctor at Dignity Health Southern California is ready to listen to any symptoms you may have and recommend a brain scan if you need one.
Brain Imaging at Dignity Health Southern California
We offer the three main types of brain scans that produce detailed images of your brain.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Brain Scan
MRI scans use magnetic field and radio waves to produce an image of the brain. During this scan, you will lie within a machine that simultaneously moves you through the device while taking images. Sometimes a type of dye called gadolinium contrast medium is injected into your body to enhance the images.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Brain
CT scans are X-rays of your brain. Similar to a MRI scan, you lie on a moveable table that moves through a tunnel-like machine. Contrast dye, which is put in your body through an IV line, may be used to improve the quality of the images.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan of the Brain
A PET scan shows brain function, such as blood flow. For the scan to detect and show brain function, a technician will put a radioactive substance in your body through an IV. After your body absorbs the tracer in about an hour, you will go through the scan.
What to Expect
Although brain scans are painless, some people find them uncomfortable. During your scan, a technician will make sure you are relaxed and may provide a pillow or blanket. Share any concerns with your doctor and let us know how we can care for you during your brain scan. Dignity Health offers high quality brain imaging in Southern California.