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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Before proceeding to treatment, the care team will first conduct a variety of specific neurologic tests to assess the child’s brain function. Sometimes we recommend genetic testing if we suspect an inherited disorder.
To help in choosing the best treatment, we carefully image the AVM and surrounding brain using noninvasive techniques, such as:
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field, radio waves and advanced computer processing to produce 2- and 3-dimensional images of the head, neck and brain. MRI is noninvasive and is critical in helping to evaluate AVMs that may not be assessed adequately with other techniques.
CT angiography (CTA) uses the technology of a conventional CT scan, along with an injected special dye (known as contrast) to generate images of the blood vessels of the upper chest, neck and brain.
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a group of MRI-based imaging techniques used to evaluate blood vessels in the brain, head and neck. Unlike CT angiography, many MRA scans do not rely on contrast injected into the veins to generate images of the vessels, although contrast injections are sometimes used. Like conventional MRI, MRA avoids the use of x-rays.
Cerebral angiography, sometimes called cerebral arteriography or catheter angiography, can often provide additional valuable information about an AVM. It produces highly detailed images of the arteries and veins, using live x-rays.
The treatment team will provide advance instructions on how to prepare for these tests.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”