A cisternogram is a type of nuclear scan using a small amount of radioactive material to help evaluate the pathways of the fluid found in the spinal cord and around the brain (cerebrospinal fluid, CSF). The test helps to detect disorders of cerebrospinal fluid circulation.

Preparations before the procedure

No preparation is usually necessary. However, if you are very anxious or agitated, sedation may be necessary. You must sign a consent form. You will wear a hospital gown (to make the spine more accessible). Remove jewelry or metallic objects before the scan.

You may want to bring a lunch depending on when your initial scan and follow-up scans are scheduled.

For a more in depth look at this procedure, visit our Health Library page on this topic.