cisternogram, cisternogram test, spinal fluid, nuclear medicine examination, radionuclide, spinal cord" /> cisternogram, cisternogram test, spinal fluid, nuclear medicine examination, radionuclide, spinal cord" />
 
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Test Details
Test Code:NM0037
Test Name:Cisternography (Scan Charges only)*
Test Details & Preparation
Cisternogram or Cisternography is a nuclear medicine examination of the spinal fluid flow that surrounds the spinal cord. The spinal canal extends from the lumbar spine (lower back) into the brain and is filled with spinal fluid. By injecting a small amount of radioactivity into the spinal fluid, the flow of the spinal fluid from the spine into the brain can be evaluated.

Nuclear Medicine scans are performed using very small amounts of radioactive material. The radioactive material is usually bound to other non-radioactive elements. These combined elements are called "radionuclide". The radionuclide emits energy called "photons". Radionuclide can be directed to many organs and systems in the body. Once a radionuclide is distributed in an organ or system, the photon energy is collected by a "Gamma Camera". The Gamma Camera detects the pattern of distribution of the radionuclide in the body and sends this information to a computer. The computer processes the information and displays the information in the form of a picture.

Nuclear Medicine exams differ from other x-ray procedures because the energy (x-rays and photons) come from different sources. X-ray energy is created by the x-ray tube and pass through the body. Another major difference is that Nuclear Medicine exams best demonstrate body physiology (system function), whereas x-rays show anatomical detail.

The injection of the radionuclide into the spinal canal takes 20 - 30 minutes to complete. Each picture, while the procedure is running, will take 30 - 40 minutes to complete.

You may feel a slight stinging sensation when the doctor numbs the skin where the spinal needle will be placed. You will feel some pressure as the spinal needle is placed into the spinal canal. The lights of the room will be turned down during the procedure, this helps the doctor to see the fluoroscopic TV screen. You will not feel any effects from the radionuclide injection.

The cisternogram test shows the progressive flow of spinal fluid from the lower back into the brain. The spinal fluid is then absorbed by the brain. The rate of flow and absorption of spinal fluid can be determined by this exam.

You should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your exam. You should remove any metal such as belt buckle, earrings, necklaces, keys, etc., since these will interfere with the pictures.
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