Ceretec Brain Scan Information Sheet

Download this Information Sheet

What is a Ceretec Brain Scan?

This scan images the blood flow to the cerebral tissue. It is used to evaluate and diagnose conditions such as dementia, stroke, and brain injury. The tracer we use is absorbed by the brain in direct proportion to blood flow for each area.

What preparation is required?

Please do not have any caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate, cola), alcohol, or nicotine, for at least 24hrs prior to your test. These products act as stimulants (or depressants) to the brain, and may cause inaccurate results.

What happens during the test?

We will place a small cannula (plastic tube) into a vein in your arm. You will rest in a darkened room for half an hour. During this time we will inject a small amount of a radioactive tracer through the cannula into your bloodstream. About 10-15min after the injection we will take 3D images of your brain, with our camera slowly turning around your head for about 30min. We also perform a low-dose CT as an anatomical map to assess blood flow to each region of the brain.

Are there any side effects?

There are no side effects from the tracer injection, and no restrictions following the test. You will be able to continue with your usual daily activities. The amount of radiation used is quite small.

How long will the test take?

Please allow about 90min for the whole test.

Can I have this test while I am pregnant or breast feeding?

Your doctors may have requested that you undergo this examination while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your doctors will have considered and discussed the risks and benefits of having the scan to the health of both you and your baby.

As part of the procedure you will be given the opportunity to further discuss any concerns that you may have including the potential risks and benefits with one of our staff members.

This examination may have been deemed suitable for you to undergo while you are breastfeeding. You will need to cease breastfeeding for 12 hours following the administration of the radiotracer. It is advised that you express and discard your breast milk during this period. You may resume routine breast feeding after 12 hours. Further information may be obtained from the staff member performing your scan.

If you are / could be pregnant OR are breast-feeding please call us to discuss your options

It is important to bring any previous test results and your Medicare card with you

Please feel free to call us on 6244 2439 if you have any questions or to reschedule

Canberra Hospital Map