ZocdocAnswersCan a CT scan miss a brain tumor in a child?

Question

Can a CT scan miss a brain tumor in a child?

Child has all symptoms of a brain tumor, ct scan is normal but doctor wants an eeg done and mri

Answer

The short answer to your question is maybe, so I recommend speaking with a pediatric neurologist. A CT scan of the head is a fairly sensitive test to look for problems in the brain. However, it does miss some things. Large brain tumors, especially those that cause edema of the brain, will always show up on a CT scan. Some very small tumors sometimes do not show up on the CT scan, and this is why doctors almost always ordered MRI after a CT scan if there is concern for a brain tumor. The fact that your doctor is ordering an EEG also suggests that he or she is looking for other problems in the brain that may or may not be due to a tumor. An EEG is the test of choice to look for seizure activity. While the details of your child's case are unknown to me, the desire of your doctors to obtain an MRI and EEG after a CT scan sounds fairly reasonable especially if they are looking for symptoms that might be due to seizure or symptoms that were initially thought to be due to a brain tumor. The type of doctor that you want to see about this is a pediatric neurologist. I suggest that you schedule an appointment today

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