A radionuclide cisternogram is a nuclear scan test used to diagnose spinal fluid circulation problems.
Intrathecal scan; Spinal cord scan; CSF flow scan; Cisternogram
How the test is performed
You will be scanned 4 - 6 hours after receiving this injection. A special camera creates images that show how the radioactive materials travel with the cerebrospinal fluid through the spine and if the fluid leaks outside the spine.
You will be scanned again 24 hours after injection, and possibly at 48 and 72 hours after injection.
How to prepare for the test
No preparation is usually necessary. However, if you are very anxious or agitated, sedation may be necessary. You must sign a consent form. You will wear a hospital gown to make the spine more accessible. Remove jewelry or metallic objects before the scan.
How the test will feel
During lumbar puncture, the lower back over the spine is numbed with an anesthetic. However, many people find lumbar puncture somewhat uncomfortable, usually because of the pressure on the spine during insertion of the needle.
The scan is painless, although the table may be cold or hard. No discomfort is produced by the radioisotope or the scanner.
Why the test is performed
The test is performed to detect problems with spinal fluid circulation and spinal fluid leaks.
Review Date: 05/13/2009
Reviewed By: Benjamin Taragin M.D., Department of Radiology, Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, N.Y. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.