Some common neurological diagnostic tests available to patient by referrals
is a diagnostic imaging technology in which a contrast dye is injected
directly into a blood vessel through a thin tube (catheter). The
dye is captured on x-ray film as it passes through the vessel, and
the resulting picture is called an angiogram. Sometimes a set of
pictures can be combined like frames in a movie to capture motion.
If there is a problem area, it may appear as a narrowing, bloackage,
or spot in the vessel.
Most angiograms focus on the brain, heart, lungs, head, neck, arms, legs or the aorta (the main artery carrying blood from the heart). The catheter is most often inserted into the femoral vein or artery, both located in the groin area.
Angiograms reveal problems occurring in blood vessels—particularly those in or surrounding the brain and heart. An angiogram will display how blood moves around an obstruction such as a clot, as well as through a narrowing in a blood vessel wall. It can also show where a weakness in an artery wall could lead to an aneurysm.
Cerebral angiograms are mainly concerned with diagnosing problems in the blood vessels of the brain. Neurologists sometimes rely on this procedure to evaluate an abnormal blood vessel, check for an aneurysm, assess the narrowing of an artery, confirm or check a brain tumor, locate a clot that could cause a stroke, or check arteries before performing surgery. Other neurological conditions that might call for an angiogram include swelling (edema) of the brain, narrowing caused by a spasm (vasospasm), increased intracranial pressure (ICP) or fluid within the brain (hydrocephalus).
Interventional angiograms: In some cases, doctors performing a diagnostic angiogram might use the catheter to actually treat a problem. In addition to delivering contrast dye used in imaging studies, the catheter might be used to:
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) scan is a medical diagnostic procedure
that combines nuclear radiation and x-ray technologies to create
highly detailed images of the body. Instead of a single flat 2-dimensional
picture produced by a stationary x-ray camera, a CT scanner provides
a series of cross-sectional images that are “stacked” together on
a computer to reveal the depth of an image in striking detail.
The images are obtained by holding the area to be studied perfectly still and rotating an x-ray camera over the area. This results in multiple views taken from different vantage points. These individual images provide a clear 3-dimensional effect that helps doctors diagnose a wide range of conditions.
A CT scan can painlessly look through dense objects such as bones to see organs and structures behind them. And it can look inside dense objects to provide an interior view. In some cases a contrast dye, administered through an IV line or swallowed, enhances the quality of the images. These capabilities make CT scans ideal for fine-tuned diagnostic pictures of whole areas of the body as well as most of the specific organs and other structures.
Recent technological advances have enabled several variations on CT technology. Among them:
CT scans help doctors diagnose problems associated with illness
and injury. The images sometimes aid in monitoring the progress
of diseases and guiding delicate procedures and surgeries. They
can provide a reliable, clear view of organs, structures and whole
regions of the body, from head to toe.
In the brain, the organ of greatest interest to neurologists, CT scans help physicians perform a wide range of important tasks. These include
CT scans also help neurosurgeons plan facial reconstruction and
other surgeries as well as procedures like radiation therapy for
brain cancer and biopsy of brain tissue.
Of course neurologists and neurosurgeons are not the only medical professionals who rely on CT scans. The same equipment is commonly used to create images throughout the body. Some of the reasons other physicians might request a CT scan include:
Emission Tomography (PET) is a nuclear imaging technology that uses
radioactive material to show biological processes as they occur
inside the body. The technology produces images that are used by
physicians to diagnose medical problems and establish what might
be causing them. In this way, PET scans help doctors determine what
treatment is best for a patient.
PET scans are used primarily to help diagnose problems in the nervous system, brain or heart, as well as many kinds of cancer throughout the body.
The radioactive material (called a tracer, radionuclide or radiopharmaceutical) is a chemical that’s inhaled or injected into the body through an IV and emits atomic particles called positrons. These positrons accumulate in the area being studied—an organ or tissue, typically—and are detected by a camera that records data for analysis by a computer. The computer converts all this information into an image.
What makes PET scans different from Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and other imaging technology is that PET scans can detect metabolism (the process that converts nutrients into energy) occurring in an organ or tissue. This means PET scans can sometimes show a disease process that’s occurring before other imaging technologies can detect the damage (changes in the structure of the organ or tissue) done by the disease process. In fact, PET scan images are sometimes combined with CT or MRI images to produce more detailed pictures.
Doctors might order a PET scan when they need more than a static image of damage already done to the patient’s body. PET technology lets doctors look at the metabolic process (i.e. how the cells convert oxygen and other nutrients in the blood into energy) occurring within the tissue being studied. In some situations, this provides an early glimpse of possible disease processes at work even before the damage from those processes is apparent.
Neurological conditions that might need a PET scan:
Cancer: A PET scan can sometimes detect cancer before other kinds of imaging can. It can indicate how advanced a cancer is, show if it has spread, and help a physician determine if a tumor is operable—and exactly where to operate. Cancers that might need a PET scan include:
Heart disease: Doctors rely on PET scans to help diagnose and pinpoint treatment options for heart attack, atherosclerosis and other conditions.
is a diagnostic imaging technology that gives physicians a detailed
picture of part of the body. It produces digital images that can
be stored on a computer and manipulated for further study. The images
help doctors diagnose problems with a high degree of accuracy.
MRI has its own set of advantages and limitations in specific situations. It is not used to treat medical conditions, but is often instrumental in helping doctors determine what treatment(s) will work best.
Variations: With MRI technology as a starting point, medical science has developed similar procedures that help physicians diagnose even more conditions with the same pinpoint accuracy. Variations include:
Physicians use MRI to help diagnose a wide range of conditions,
diseases, abnormalities and injuries. Unlike other kinds of imaging,
MRI can “see” through bones, like the skull and vertebrae, to pinpoint
an area of an organ or soft tissue. MRI doesn’t expose the patient
or technician to radiation.
Some common medical situations where neurologists might need an MRI include Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and other degenerative diseases, as well as stroke, tumors, aneurysms, abscesses, congenital abnormalities, hydrocephalus and many others. MRI technology is also helpful in diagnosing:
If an MRI has been recommended for you, or you’re scheduled to receive one, you probably wonder what it will be like. The procedure is painless. If you’re claustrophobic, you can request an Open MRI. A mild sedative is available if you need it.
Evoked Potentials (EP) tests are used to check the condition of the nerve pathways. They measure the brain’s electrical response to the signals sent by the nerves. EP tests help diagnose nervous system abnormalities, hearing loss, and assess neurological functions.
Major Types of Evoked Potentials (EP) Tests
How It Feels:
Preparation:There is no preparation required for this test.
Procedure:A technician places the sensor against your skin using a clear gel for application. As the technician moves the sensor back and forth on your neck, different views of the carotid artery appear on the screen. As the equipment measures the blood flow through the artery, you hear a noise that sounds like your heartbeat. The other side of your neck is checked in the same way. This test usually takes 15–30 minutes.
How It Feels:This procedure is painless.
We are dedicated to providing exceptional, comprehensive neurological care and treatment to our patients.
We believe the key to quality patient care is the development of a strong doctor-patient relationship, providing special attention to patients and addressing their family concerns and needs.