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CT Cisternography

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Overview

CT Cisternography is a computed tomography scan of the bones at the base of the skull. It is used to diagnose CSF rhinorrhea and CSF otorrhea.

What is CT Cisternography?

CT Cisternography aids doctors in evaluating the cerebral spinal fluid of the spinal canal and the ventricles of the brain. CT Cisternography is performed to diagnose CSF leaks, CSF blocks, and CSF circulation problems.

How is CT Cisternography Performed?

CT Cisternography is a time-consuming procedure. The process involves:

  • Injecting a radiopharmaceutical drug into the lumbar subarachnoid space.
  • The patient has to lie down for an hour after the injection.
  • The patient is then taken to perform the CT Cisternography.
  • The radiologist takes 2 to 3 images of the injected area.
  • Another CT scan is performed after 4 hours.
  • The scan will be conducted at an interval of 24, 48, and 72 hours after the first scan.

Patients can leave the facility after the initial CT Cisternography scan but have to return to get the follow-up scans done.

Side-effects of CT Cisternography

Since CT Cisternography is an invasive procedure, there may be some side-effects such as:

  • Persistent headaches.
  • Signs of infection such as redness, swelling, and drainage from the injected area.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Stiff neck.

Preparation for Performing CT Cisternography

Patients have to schedule the CT Cisternography test in advance. Preparation for the test involves:

  • Discussing health conditions and medical history with the doctor.
  • Not taking certain medications, which increases the chances of excessive bleeding after the CT Cisternography.
  • Following the instructions of the radiologist.

Post-care for CT Cisternography

The patient can go home after the initial scan of CT Cisternography. The post-care routine involves:

  • Resting throughout the day, and lying down flat with a pillow under the head.
  • If you have a headache, drink fluids with caffeine.
  • Avoid medication containing aspirin.
  • Follow the instructions of the doctor regarding medication.
  • Do not take a bath on the day of the CT Cisternography examination. (3)

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