Brain - Head CT

Imaging method of choice for suspected brain hemorrhage


Brain CTs are typically ordered for many different symptoms such as headaches, weakness, seizures, confusion, in order to exclude a tumor, aneurysm or infection. They are also used as a follow up test for patients with strokes, bleeds or surgery. CT of the head is usually ordered for disorders concerning the orbits, sinuses, internal auditory canals and skull.





A CT scan of the brain/head will evaluate:

  • bleeding, brain injury and skull fractures in patients with head injuries
  • bleeding caused by a ruptured or leaking aneurysm in a patient with a sudden severe headache
  • a blood clot or bleeding within the brain shortly after a patient exhibits symptoms of a stroke
  • brain tumors. enlarged brain cavities (ventricles) in patients with hydrocephalus
  • diseases or malformations of the skull
  • the extent of bone and soft tissue damage in patients with facial trauma, and planning surgical reconstruction
  • diseases of the temporal bone on the side of the skull, which may be causing hearing problems
  • diseases of the orbits and internal auditory canals such as tumors and infections

Please bring any related exams you may have with you on the day of your examintation


There is often no preparation required for a CT scan. However, depending on the area of the body being examined you may be asked to fast for a period of time before your scan. For some examinations of the abdomen, you may be given some water or a special drink (x-ray contrast) before your scan. You will be advised by our reception staff if you require any special preparation when you make your appointment. Please inform us if you are taking any medication, have kidney disease, or have had a previous reaction to x-ray contrast. In case you have a history of allergy please contact our clinic or your physician to obtain additional details of your preparation.
You will be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and wear a gown. You may also be asked to remove jewelry or any metal objects that might affect the CT images. You will then be asked to lie on a table which is moved into the center of the scanner. During the examination the scanner will rotate around the part of the body to be examined but will not touch you. You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds during the scan. Some CT examinations require an injection of a special contrast, which contains iodine, to enhance a particular body part or structure. Without this injection some important abnormalities may go undetected. The contrast or dye is usually injected into a vein in your arm. It is quite common to experience a warm flush and/or a metallic taste in your mouth. Occasionally some patients may experience transient nausea or an itchy rash. These side effects, if they occur, do not last very long. Other more severe allergic reactions are extremely rare. In case you have a known allergy, special medications will be given to you to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. Please inform the technologist if you think you might be pregnant before your scan.