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New York City Brain Injury Diagnostic Testing

There are a number of diagnostic tests that can help doctors pinpoint the location of a brain injury for prognosis and treatment. One valuable type of imaging scan is a SPECT or PET-SCAN which shows a traumatic brain injury in color.

PET Scan

PET Scan is short for positron emission tomography. In the U.S., close to 2 million people suffer a brain injury each year with up to eighty five percent of all injuries being classified as mild TBI. However, a conventional MRI cannot diagnose mild TBI as it is simply insensitive to this injury. A PET SCAN is a functional imaging test that is sensitive to Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (“MBTI”) changes. A PET scan shows 3-D images of the brain in color and can illustrate which part of the brain has sustained injury.

PET scans have been around since the 1970’s. The technology has advanced tremendously since that time especially in terms of the quality of the diagnostic imaging. In a PET scan test, a small radionuclide such as a tracer or isotope is introduced into the body. The tracer is mixed into a sugar molecule which the body will absorb. Doctors then analyze how the body absorbs and metabolizes the sugar molecule containing the tracer. If the body does not absorb the molecule or has trouble absorbing it, this is evidence that the brain in that area is functioning poorly.

PET scan can show different regions of the brain including those responsible for memory, attention, mood, and other vital functions.


A SPECT scan is short for single photo emission computed tomography. It is similar to a PET SCAN in that a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into the body. Doctors monitor how the body absorbs and utilizes the biologically active molecule. SPECT scans are less expensive to conduct than PET scans and offer lower resolution imagery.

The brain injury lawyers at Frekhtman & Associates work with top neuroradiologists who conduct PET scans and other testing in accordance with the latest medical technology currently available. There is never a fee to our clients until we win compensation for them first.