Brain Tumor Diagnosis
To determine the type and location of a brain mass, your Neuroscience specialist will provide a neurological evaluation. The evaluation will include a neurological physical assessment and specialized neuro imaging such as:
- CT scan: Creates cross-sectional images of the brain using radiation and computer technology. Sequential "slices" of the CT scan can demonstrate irregular activity in the brain such as hemorrhage, tumor or infection.
- CT angiography: Uses a CT scanner to produce detailed images of both blood vessels and tissues in the brain.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive method of looking at your body's internal structures without using radiation and can give your physician important information that other tests cannot. Different types include:
- Specialized 3-D MRI/MR Angiography is the most cutting-edge version of MRI. It features quicker scans, more detail, better contrast and a host of physiological information including blood flow in and out of brain tumors and other brain abnormalities.
- Functional MRI (fMRI) is an MRI technique to identify healthy motor, vision, and speech centers of the brain, allowing them to be avoided during surgical procedures.
- Diffusion Tensor imaging / Tractography: a 3-Dimensional modeling technique used to visually represent neural tracts in the brain.
- MRA/MRV allows visualization of blood vessels leading to the tumor without performing an arteriogram or venogram.
- MR Spectroscopy is an advanced MRI scan that studies the chemical makeup of the brain. It can be very helpful in discriminating between active tumors, necrotic tumors, radiation effects and healthy tissues.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is (3D) imaging that provides quantification of biochemistry (e.g., glucose metabolism, protein synthesis, etc.) of normal and diseased brain tissue. PET scanning provides the earliest detection of brain tumors. This biochemical imaging can be combined with the patient's MR scan to provide surgeons image-guidance during Gamma Knife, Neuroblate or Surgical procedures.
Special imaging techniques such as MRI and PET scans will be used to provide the best map-view of the brain to alleviate unnecessary damage and aid in a brain tumor's removal.