SPECT test of cerebral blood flow

 

45 minutes before administering a small amount of the radioactive substance intravenously the patient has to take a perchlorate-containing capsule, which decreases the appearance of salivary glands on the images. The test is performed 45 minutes after giving the injection and in the meantime the patient should wait calmly and in silence. During the test the camera is very close to the patient’s face and it may be uncomfortable for those who are suffering from claustrophobia. This negative feeling can be reduced if the patient closes the eyes. It is very important that during performing the test tha patient has to lie still. If the patient is not capable of this he or she has to inform the referring physician about this fact in advance. The whole tests lasts for approximately 20 minutes.
During the test administering a medication named Diamox (acetazolamide) may be necessary that is given as a form of intravenous injection 20 minutes before the patient gets the radiopharmacon. This substance enhances cerebral blood flow, but is does not take effect at the areas of atherosclerosis.

It is prohibited to consume alcohol and caffeine -containing beverages (coffee, tea, coke) in 24 hours prior to the test.Besides this the patient can eat and drink the same way as usual.

Medications:Certain medications may interfere with the test. If the patient takes any kind of drugs, the physician has to inform them 4-6 weeks (!) before the test about taking which medications has to be suspended temporarily.

Other side effects

Diamox may cause dizziness, tinnitus (tingling in the ear), nausea, alteration of tasting (especially in case of fizzy drinks), tingling of the fingers and hands or loss of feeling. Migrain headache can also occur if the patient is liable to it. The patient should wake up very slowly, because in case of quick motions Diamox can cause fainting.