SPECT Brain Imaging Periprocedural Care

Updated: Apr 09, 2020
  • Author: Matthew Tam, MBBCh; Chief Editor: Mahan Mathur, MD  more...
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Periprocedural Care

Patient Preparation

For standard baseline/dementia studies, the patient should avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Sedation, if required, should be given 5 minutes after injection of tracer. To minimize and standardize cortical activation, tracer is administered with the patient in a low-stimulation standardized environment.

Patients undergoing epilepsy evaluation should have EEG monitoring during injection. [8]   

For brain-death imaging, the imaging room should be prepared for a patient on life support. Any unnecessary equipment should be removed and wall oxygen extension readied. Drip stands and a table/trolley for cardiac monitoring and a ventilator should be available.

Place the brain-imaging pallet on the bed, ensuring that the broad edge of the base does not extend past the end of the imaging table. To minimize head movement, position the patient with his or her head as far into the head holder as possible. Use the arm strap to secure the patient’s arms in place. Ensure all line access is outside the field of view. Consider a peripheral line for injection to avoid artifact from retained tracer in a central line.

For a brain-death study, the camera is positioned both anteriorly and posteriorly. The patient is positioned in the gantry so that the vertex, carotid arteries, and sternal notch are in the field of view.

Patients should be monitored for 20-30 minutes if acetazolamide is administered. Major reactions may include anaphylaxis and cerebral ischemic events. The most common reaction is a transient paresthesia of the face and digits.