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Nuclear Medicine: Brain Scans

The brain, the center of the nervous system, is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and is responsible for all body functions: motor, sensory, and intellectual. These functions depend on blood flow to the brain itself. Nuclear Medicine imaging of the head evaluates the dynamics of the CSF or the blood flow to the brain.

CSF is a clear body fluid that occupies the space along the spinal cord, brain, and ventricular system inside the brain. In essence, the brain "floats" in it.  It acts as a cushion for the cortex, providing a basic mechanical and immunological protection to the brain inside the skull. CSF flows from the ventricle (choroid plexus) around the spinal cord, and then up over the brain where it is absorbed by the sagittal sinus (blood vessels draining the top of the brain). This is a very dynamic system that cycles through about 3.7 times each day. 

There are six different head studies divided into two groups:

Cisternography

  • CSF Leak
  • Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension
  • Cisternography

Non-Cisternography

  • CSF Shunt Evaluation
  • Pain Pump Evaluation
  • Brain Spect
 
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