A meningioma can be difficult to diagnose because the tumor is often slow growing. Symptoms of a meningioma may also be subtle and mistaken for other health conditions or written off as normal signs of aging.
If your primary care provider suspects a meningioma, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in neurological conditions (neurologist).
To diagnose a meningioma, a neurologist will conduct a thorough neurological exam followed by an imaging test, such as:
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan. CT scans take X-rays that create cross-sectional images of a full picture of your brain. Sometimes an iodine-based dye is used to augment the picture.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With this imaging study, a magnetic field and radio waves are used to create cross-sectional images of the structures within your brain. MRI scans provide a more-detailed picture of the brain and meningiomas.
In some cases, examination of a sample of the tumor (biopsy) may be needed to rule out other types of tumors and confirm a meningioma diagnosis.