Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Imaging tests

Computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can reveal swelling and bleeding within the brain.

  • CT scan. This procedure combines X-ray views taken from many different directions into detailed cross-sectional images of the brain.
  • MRI. An MRI machine uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce extremely detailed images of soft tissues, such as the brain.

Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)

Naegleria amoeba can be seen under a microscope in the fluid that surrounds your brain and spinal cord. The spinal fluid is obtained by inserting a needle between two vertebrae in your lower back. This test also can measure the cerebral spinal fluid pressure and look for inflammatory cells.

Aug. 04, 2012