Evaluations and Diagnostic Tests

We use advanced diagnosis, treatment and neuroimaging technology to provide better outcomes for your child. Our team provides unique treatment options based on each child's condition and needs.

  • Ambulatory EEG: An ambulatory EEG measures the electrical signals of your child’s brain while doing his everyday activities, such as playing with friends, watching TV and sleeping. Your child will have sensors on his scalp and carry a backpack with special equipment that records his brain signals. Unlike a traditional EEG, this type of EEG is done outside of the clinic or hospital.
  • Angiography
  • Dense array EEG: A dense array EEG measures and records the brain’s electrical activity by using up to 256 electrodes. By placing this many electrodes at key points on the patient’s head, doctors are able to get a good approximation of where a child's seizures start.
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Fiber Tracking: DTI uses computer technology to see the complex network of nerve fibers connecting the different areas of the brain. This technology can help surgeons plan for surgery.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: The CT scanner is a doughnut-shaped machine used to view parts of the child's body that cannot be seen with a regular X-ray.
  • Cortical stimulation (also called Corticography or Cortical Mapping): Cortical stimulation is often used before surgery to help the neurosurgeon make decisions about what areas of the brain are affected by seizures. This process involves the placement of a grid on the brain. This grid has electrodes to help measure the electrical activity on the surface of the brain.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG): An EEG is a test that measures the electrical activity in the brain, called brain waves. A routine EEG happens at the hospital or doctor's office. 
  • Electromyography (EMG): An EMG is a test that is used to record the electrical activity of muscles.
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET/MRI coregistration: FDG-PET/MRI coregistration is used to help plan surgery. We are one of only a few centers in the country using FDG-PET/MRI coregistration for pediatric epilepsy surgery.
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI): An fMRI is a technology that takes advantage of measuring functional skills through the use of MRI technology.
  • Intra-operative MRI (iMRI): The iMRI produces high-quality images that allow surgeons to better identify tumors and lesions during surgery.
  • Lumbar puncture or spinal tap: A lumbar puncture or spinal tap may be used to get a sample of the fluid that surrounds your brain and spinal in order to test for serious infections or disorders. This may also be used to give patients medicine.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI produces very clear images of the human body without the use of X-ray. Instead, our pediatric MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves and computers to take pictures of your child’s body.
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS): MRS is a tool used to measure chemical changes in the brain. This tool is combined with an MRI and can compare normal brain tissue to abnormal tissue. It can be used to look at tumors, strokes and epilepsy.
  • Mock Scanner: The mock scanner allows patients to undergo practice MRI sessions with clinicians and child life specialists, helping to reduce their anxiety prior to going into the real scanner.
  • Morphometry: Morphometry compares the cortical thickness of various brain regions in children with, and without, neurological disorders. Developmental variation and changes in the cortical thickness can tell us about the development of a child and the impact of a disease or disorder.
  • Neurocritical Care Intensive Care Unit (ICU) monitoring: Using Video electroencephalogram (vEEG) our team can monitor neurocritical care patients 24-hours a day. we can detect real-time nonconvulsive seizures, which occur in about 30 percent of the monitored patients. Because these seizures are nonconvulsive, they are hard to detect. Our monitoring unit allows us see these seizures and to provide treatment.
  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV): A NCV is a test to see how fast electrical signals move through a nerve.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET): Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT) imaging offers physicians a unique view of the body's organs and tissue because it records function by showing pictures at the cellular level.
  • Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
  • Subtraction Ictal Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography Co-registered to MRI (SISCOM): SISCOM is a tool used with an MRI to help find parts of the brain that are having seizures. This tool helps our team plan epilepsy surgeries.
  • Video electroencephalogram (vEEG): A video EEG combines an EEG with video of the patient. Our Epilepsy Center has 12 advanced, all-digital, video-monitored EEG beds, allowing physicians to constantly record and later monitor the patient's condition.

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