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Brain scan

A Brain Scan looks at the activity of certain parts of the brain.


There is no preparation for this test. Your child can eat and drink as usual.

The test has two parts and takes up to 2 hours to complete. A parent or guardian may always stay with the child.  Siblings are not allowed in the room during the test.  Eating and drinking is not allowed in the room.

What to expect

Part 1

Your child will need Intravenous (IV) access for this procedure.  An IV is a needle that is inserted into a vein, most often in the arm or back of the hand.  An injection containing a very small amount of radioactive medicine will be given through the IV. After the injection is done, your child will need to stay in the room for 45 minutes. During this time they should be sitting still (no talking or use of electronic devices).

Part 2

The second part of the test takes 45 minutes. Your child will lie down on a narrow bed, with their head placed in a head holder and a seat belt across their across their body for safety and to help them remain still while pictures are taken. These pictures show the activity levels of different parts of the brain.  Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan.

Post test

It is important to give your child extra fluids for the rest of the day to keep them hydrated and help the medicine leave the body quicker.

The scan results are given by a doctor specialized in Nuclear Medicine and not by the technologist doing the test.  A report is sent to your doctor’s office, usually within 2-3 business days.

Please call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 416-813-6065 if you have any questions about the procedure or if you need to change the appointment.

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