What is a cisternogram scan?

A cisternogram is performed to evaluate the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) of the spinal canal and the ventricles of the brain. Possible indications for the exam are: normal pressure hydrocephalus, Pseudotumor Cerebri, and the evaluation of ventricular shunting tubes.

How should I prepare for a cisternogram scan?

There is no prep for this test.

How long does the test take?

The radiopharmaceutical is injected into the lumbar subarachnoid space by a radiology resident in interventional radiology. After the injection you are required to lie down for at least one hour. The radiology department will wheel you on a cart to the Nuclear Medicine Department. Upon arrival, the nuclear medicine technologist will take 1-2 images of the area where you were injected and this takes about 15 minutes. You will then be given a time to return to the nuclear medicine department 4 hours and 24 hours later. During these two visits a series of images will be performed called a SPECT/CT. This is a tomographic set of images combined with a non diagnostic CT for attenuation correction and takes about 25 minutes.

How soon will the scan results be available?

A radiologist will interpret the images, write a report, and deliver the results to your doctor via the internal computer system. This process usually takes less than 24 hours.

It is essential to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant before undergoing this scan because of radiation exposure.

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

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