CT Scan of the Head/Brain

CT of the head: A volume rendering (VR) of a three-dimensional set of computed tomography (CT) images shown as a two-dimensional projection. In this case, extremely thin slices were created from the original scan and sent to a separate computer, which transformed them into these 3D images. The surgeon then used these images to aid in surgical planning to repair fractures, including one clearly visible in the jaw and others on the bridge of the nose and the outer edges of the eye sockets.

Before Arriving for Your Procedure

Your doctor has requested a computed tomography scan (CT) of your brain. CT scans use X-ray technology and advanced computer analysis to create detailed pictures of the body. This technology, called cross-sectional imaging, allows the imaging physician to take highly detailed images and to assess your brain for injury or abnormality, including bleeding, tumors, blood clots or signs of stroke. The Cedars-Sinai S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center has a team of brain imaging specialists, led by Barry D. Pressman, MD, chief, Neuroradiology and Head and Neck Radiology. Patients who are diabetic and taking Glucophage will need clearance from their ordering physician before the exam.

After Arriving

  • The radiology nurse or technologist will ask you a few questions regarding your medical history.

During Your Procedure

  • While positioning you on the exam table, the technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have.
  • If contrast dye is being used, it will be injected through your IV.
  • During the injection, you may experience a warm sensation all over your body and a metal taste in your mouth. This is normal.
  • If you experience any itching, sneezing, nasal congestion, scratchy throat or swelling of your face, please notify the technologist immediately.
  • You will be asked to lie flat on your back. Your arms will be positioned at your sides.
  • Your head will be placed in a holder and you will be asked to hold very still. Only your head will be covered by the scanner. The scanner is open at the back and the front, allowing you to see out.
  • People who fear small, close places (claustrophobic) usually do not have problems with this procedure.
  • The technologist will always be able to see and hear you during your exam.
  • This procedure usually takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

After Your Procedure

  • There are no restrictions placed on you after this procedure. You may eat and drive as normal.
  • If you received an injection of contrast dye, you should drink six to eight glasses of water to flush it out of your system.
  • Your study will be read by a neuro-radiologist (imaging physician) and the results sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.
  • Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

Image of a CT brain perfusion study, which analyzes blood flow in the brain. The study below was used to map the extent of hemodynamic compromise or damage to the brain after a stroke. The red and blue indicate areas that have been damaged. Red is the infarct zone where the stroke occurred. Blue shows blood flow affected by the stroke.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.