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Tests

You have one or more of these tests to diagnose a brain or spinal cord tumour. If you are diagnosed with a brain tumour, you might have further tests to find out how big the tumour is and whether it has spread. 

You usually have them as an outpatient. 

MRI scan

An MRI scan can help to find where the tumour is and whether it has spread. Find out what to expect. 

CT scan

You might have a CT scan of your brain to help diagnose a brain or spinal cord tumour. Find out what to expect. 

PET scan

Read about having a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Find out what it is, how you have it and what happens afterwards.

Brain angiogram

Find out about having an angiogram for a brain tumour including what it is, how you have it and what happens afterwards.

Biopsy

A biopsy may be done on its own or at the same time as surgery to treat the brain tumour. Find out what to expect during a brain tumour biopsy. 

Lumbar puncture

A lumbar puncture is a test to check the fluid that circulates around the brain and spinal cord. 

Neuroendoscopy

Neuroendoscopy is a test to take a sample of tissue from a tumour or take some fluid from around your brain (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF). 

Blood tests

Blood tests can check your general health and help to diagnose certain types of brain tumours. 

Physical examination

Find out how you have a physical examination and how your doctor tests your nervous system (neurological examination). 

Last reviewed: 
13 Mar 2019

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