Brain CT Scan
- Inflammatory conditions
- Head injuries
- Bleeding and fluid buildup in the brain
- Birth defects
Brain CT Scan
When to test
A normal brain CT scan is usually ordered by doctors, if you have one or more of the following indications:
- Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or stroke
- Acute trauma
- Shunt function
- Sudden onset of severe headache
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Tenderness over the skull
- Blood or fluid from an ear or nose
- Reduced vision
- Repeated vomiting
- Trouble in hearing, speaking, or swallowing
How long does a brain CT scan take?
A CT scan of the brain is usually completed within 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the preparation required and whether it includes the use of a contrast medium. The scan itself may take just a few minutes to complete.
Is radiation involved in the brain CT scan?
Yes. CT scan is an imaging test which involves a small amount of radiation to show pictures of the organs, tissues, and bones of the body.
When will I receive my results?
Once the CT scan of the brain is completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.
How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?
Do not wear hair pins, hair weaves, eye makeup or jewelry on the day of your appointment. No preparations for non-contrast exams. If with contrast, do not eat or drink 4 hours prior to scanning. Can take usual medication with a sip of water. Do not forget to bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.
- Before starting the CT scan, you will have to remove all the metal objects on your body, including eyeglasses, jewelry, hairpins, and dentures.
- Then you will have to lie still on the CT scanner table, which will move slowly through a doughnut-shaped machine. Pillows and straps may be used to help keep your head still during the scan.
- The scanner will move in a circle around your body and X-ray beam will pass through your body for small amounts of time. It will take multiple images that will be displayed on a monitor.
- During the scan, a technologist will give you instructions such as ‘stay still’ and ‘hold your breath for 10 to 12 seconds’ various times.
- You will be given a call button, so that you can inform the technologist, in case you face any problems during the scan.
For a brain CT scan with contrast, you will be asked to step out of the scanner after the first procedure. Post this, a contrast dye will be administered into your veins. This dye will show enhanced images of your brain in the scan results.