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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
A brain Scan is a diagnostic imaging technique that provides images of blood flow in the brain. It can detect changes in blood flow within the brain that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.
How Boston Children's Hospital approaches a brain scan
The Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging program at Boston Children's is committed to providing a safe, comfortable and child-friendly atmosphere with:
A brain scan is frequently used to localize the source of epilepsy. Other conditions can also be diagnosed, but they are less frequent.
You should expect your visit to last approximately one hour.
When you arrive, please go to the Nuclear Medicine check-in desk on the second floor of the main hospital. A clinical intake coordinator will check in your child and verify his or her registration information.
Obtaining a brain scan involves three steps: injection of the radiopharmaceutical, a waiting period and the brain scan.
Injection of the radiopharmaceutical:
The brain SPECT scan:
Your child may experience some discomfort associated with the insertion of the intravenous needle. The needle used for the procedure is small. Once the radiopharmaceutical is injected, the needle is withdrawn and a Band-Aid is placed over the site of the injection. The area where the injection was given may be a little sore.
Although the camera used to take pictures may appear large and intimidating, it does not touch your child.
Once the brain scan is complete, the images will be evaluated for quality by a nuclear medicine physician. If the scan is adequate, your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity.
The tiny amount of the radioactive substance in your child's body will dissipate over the first 24 hours following the test and pass out of your child's body through urine or stool. Drinking plenty of water will help to flush the radioactive material from your child's body.
One of the Boston Children's nuclear medicine physicians will review your child's images and create a report of the findings and diagnosis.
The nuclear medicine physician will provide a report to the doctor who ordered your child's brain scan. Your child's doctor will then discuss the results with you.
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.”