Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)
Yale-New Haven Hospital,
20 York Street,
New Haven, CT
Go to the East Pavilion. Take the elevator to the 2nd floor and sign in at the Diagnostic Imaging Admission Desk.
SPECT is a nuclear medicine procedure which uses a radioactive compound to create images of the cerebral blood flow. The test has specific use in epilepsy because decreased cerebral blood flow in a focal area is a marker of the interictal epileptogenic zone.
There are two ways of doing the SPECT, during a seizure (ictal) and between seizures (interictal). The ictal SPECT provides the opportunity to image cerebral blood flow during a seizure and identify focal areas of hyperperfusion for the purpose of localization.
The interictal SPECT scan is more likely to show a region of decreased blood flow in patients with frequent seizures.