Positron emission tomography (PET) scan before epilepsy surgery

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Find out how a PET scan helps identify where seizures start in the brain.

Key points

  • A PET scan takes pictures of how the brain builds up and breaks down substances to identify where seizures start.
  • Your child cannot eat, drink or chew gum for four hours before the scan. The test may be cancelled if their blood sugar level is too high.
  • During the scan, your child will be injected with a tiny amount of radioactive liquid and lie still in the PET scanner while electrodes attached to their scalp record brain activity.
  • You may discuss the results of the PET scan with your child's doctor about four to six weeks after the test.
Last updated: October 10th 2017