Your doctor has recommended you for a cisternogram. This test is used to look for problems with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. CSF flows through the subarachnoid space that surrounds your brain and spinal cord. Cisternograms may be used to diagnose a CSF leak or identify blockages in the CSF pathway. Franklin Moser, MD, director of Neuroradiology, heads our team of imaging physicians, nurses and technologists who specialize in this procedure.

Before Arriving for Your Procedure

  • You may drink clear liquids two hours before the procedure.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Directions and parking information

During Your Procedure

  • The technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have prior to your exam.
  • You will be asked to change into a gown and to lie on the exam table on your stomach.
  • You will be prepped and a local anesthetic (Lidocaine) will be injected to numb the area.
  • You will receive the radiopharmaceutical through a lumbar puncture. This is done by inserting a thin needle in your lower back into the subarachnoid space filled with the radiopharmaceutical tracer. The tracer travels with the flow of the CSF.
  • Two to six hours later, you will be scanned. Many pictures are taken during the scan to show how the tracer flows with the CSF.
  • Scans will be performed 24, 48 and 72 hours after the lumbar puncture.

After Your Procedure

  • You may be asked to lie flat, as this will help prevent headaches after the scan.
  • Drink plenty of liquid for 24-48 hours to flush the tracer out of your body.

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, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.