Testing & Diagnosis for Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma in Children

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How is a pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma diagnosed?

Diagnostic procedures for a pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma may include:

  • physical examination
  • computerized tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays. For pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, a CT scan of the brain is usually done.
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. For pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, MRIs of the brain and spine are usually done.
  • electroencephalogram (EEG) – if your child is experiencing seizures, this procedure records the brain's continuous, electrical activity by means of electrodes attached to the scalp, and helps identify and localize seizure activity to a particular section of the brain.
  • biopsy - a tissue sample from the tumor taken through a needle during a simple surgical procedure performed by a surgeon to confirm the diagnosis
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