How does a doctor know that it's a brain abscess?
During the physical examination, your child's doctor will obtain a complete medical history of your child. In addition to urine and stool tests and a measure of your head's circumference, a doctor may do any of these diagnostic tests:
- uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
magnetic resonance imaging
- also called an MRI
- uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. I
- Intravenous (IV) contrast agents may be given during the scan to better see the abscess
computerized tomography scan
- also called a CT or CAT scan
- uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
- tests the stuff coughed up from the lungs and into the mouth.
- helps to see if an infection is present
- also called a spinal tap
- a special needle is placed into the lower back, into the spinal canal.
- measures the pressure in the spinal canal and brain
- a small amount of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) can be removed and sent for testing to determine if there is an infection or other problems.
- also called an EEG
- records the brain's continuous, electrical activity by means of electrodes attached to your scalp
intracranial pressure monitoring
- also called ICP
- measures the pressure inside of your head