Brain Scan, Cerebral Flow and Pathology

Norm of Brain Scan, Cerebral Flow and Pathology



Usage of Brain Scan, Cerebral Flow and Pathology

Abscess of the brain, brain ischemia, brain tumors, contusions, cerebral vascular accidents, hematomas, and causes of seizures. Posttraumatic stress disorder.


Description of Brain Scan, Cerebral Flow and Pathology

A nuclear medicine scan of the brain after the intravenous injection of a radioactive isotope. An immediate scan after the injection will show changes in the cerebral blood flow from one side of the brain compared to the other side. A later scan will show pathogenic tissue, which has a greater concentration of the isotope present than does normal tissue. This method of brain scanning has largely been replaced by newer, faster, and better quality SPECT scanning.


Professional Considerations of Brain Scan, Cerebral Flow and Pathology

Consent form IS required.

Pregnancy and in clients who cannot lie still for an extended length of time.



  1. Potassium chloride capsules are given 2 hours before the isotope injection to prevent an inordinate amount of isotope uptake in the choroid plexus. Too much uptake in the choroid plexus would simulate a pathologic condition in the cerebrum.
  2. Just before beginning the procedure, take a “time out” to verify the correct client, procedure, and site.



  1. The client is placed in a supine position on the scanning table with the isotope scanner in position over the head.
  2. The radioactive isotope is injected into a vein in the arm, and the scan is started immediately for the study of cervical flow.
  3. The scan is repeated 1 hour later to detect the presence of pathogenic tissue.


Postprocedure Care

  1. Encourage the oral intake of fluids.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. Most of the radioactive material will be excreted from the body through urine and stool within 48 hours and is not harmful to other persons nearby.
  2. Venous access will be necessary.
  3. Results are normally available within 24 hours.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. None found.


Other Data

  1. Health care professionals working in a nuclear medicine area must follow federal standards set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. These standards include precautions for handling the radioactive material and monitoring of potential radiation exposure.
  2. See also Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT scan), Brain.