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Ceretec Brain Imaging


  • You have been referred for a Ceretec Brain Study in which 3D imaging is done of the brain.

  • A Ceretec Brain Study is very sensitive in showing abnormalities in the blood flow and function of the cerebrum.

  • Ceretec Brain Scans are very useful for the diagnosis of abnormalities of regional cerebral blood flow, such as those occurring following stroke and other cerebrovascular disease.

  • Epilepsy, Alzheimer's Disease, other forms of dementia, transient ischaemic attacks, migraine and tumours of the brain can all be visualised using a Ceretec Brain study.

  • The test involves a small injection of  “tracer” (like having a blood test) whilst lying quietly in a dimly lit room.

  • The tracer we use is called 99mTc-Ceretec (99m-Technetium HexaMethylPropyleneAmine Oxime OR 99mTc-HMPAO).

  • There are rarely any side effects with this injection.

  • Images are done 20 minutes after the injection using a Gamma Camera (1).

  • To obtain the 3D images, we perform SPECT/CT (2) imaging.

  • With SPECT/CT imaging, the same Gamma Camera simply rotates around your head, taking images all the time. This can take 15-30 minutes.

  • You receive a slight radiation dose by having a Ceretec Brain Study with SPECT/CT ~ up to 3.6 times your yearly background radiation (3).


Patient Preparation:

  • If you are pregnant, trying to fall pregnant or breast feeding, you must inform our staff.

  • If you have had prior imaging e.g. PET, Nuclear Scan, CT, MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, etc... please bring these with you.

  • Please also bring your referral and any blood results that you may have had done.

  • There is no preparation for a Ceretec Brain Study i.e. eat and drink as normal.

  • If you are on any medications, please take these as normal.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and minimise the amount of metal jewellery you have on (all metal objects will need to be removed prior to imaging).

  • Important Note: You cannot have this test if you have had a PET or Nuclear Scan within 24 hours prior to this test. If you have had Iodine-131 therapy, allow 4-weeks before having this test. Please ring to discuss booking options.​


Breast-Feeding Mothers: Once you have been given the tracer, you need to stop breast-feeding for 48 hours (2-days). During this time, you need to express and discard your breast milk as often as required. You will need to bottle-feed your child during this period.


(1) A Gamma Camera is a device that detects gamma-rays (gamma-rays are very similar to x-rays) and does not emit any radiation.

(2) SPECT/CT imaging (Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography / Computer Tomography). CT does emit radiation

(3) We all receive a yearly background radiation dose ~ 2.4mSv. Ceretec Brain Study with SPECT/CT ~ 8.6mSv = 3.6 times yearly background dose.

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