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Skull Base Diagnostic Tests

At Atlantic Health System Neuroscience's Skull Base Surgery Program, we believe that the timely, accurate diagnosis of skull base tumors results in more effective treatments and speedier recoveries. Our diagnostic services include:

Cerebral angiography with embolization
– produces images of the blood vessels and other key areas of the head and neck; surgeons can also cut off the blood supply to tumors using this minimally invasive technique
Computed tomography (CT)
– uses cross-sectional images to create a 3-D model of the brain and skull base; usually performed with a high-resolution contrast dye that makes the border and details of the tumor more visible in relation to the surrounding healthy brain tissue; may be used in some cases with frameless stereotactic guidance to aid in pre-surgical planning
Endoscopic biopsy
– obtains tissue samples for diagnosis using the natural openings of the face to avoid incisions
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
– uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create a 3-D model of the brain and skull base; usually performed with a high-resolution contrast dye that makes the border and details of the tumor more visible in relation to the surrounding healthy brain tissue; may be used in some cases with frameless stereotactic guidance to aid in pre-surgical planning
Nasal endoscopy
– examines the inside of the nose and sinuses using a fiber optic telescope with a camera on one end
Neuroendoscopy
– allows neurosurgeons to minimally-invasively inspect and remove tumors and perform procedures in areas of the brain using a small fiber optic camera and specially-developed instruments; often avoids the need for traditional open surgery
Physical examination and blood tests
– assesses the patient’s neurological status, balance, vision, hearing and hormone levels, which may be affected by some types of skull base tumors
Positron emission tomography (PET)
– uses nuclear medicine imaging to measure important body functions, such as blood flow, oxygen use, and sugar (glucose) metabolism