Parkinson’s Disease and the CT Scan


Medically Reviewed by Christopher Melinosky, MD on November 27, 2022

CT, or computed tomography, uses X-rays and computers to produce images of the inside of the body, including the brain. This test is used to look for signs of disease like Parkinson’s.

What Can I Expect Before a CT Scan?

If intravenous contrast material (a special “dye” injected in the vein that helps to highlight certain structures in the brain) is required for your CT scan, you may be instructed to have a blood test before the CT scan appointment.

What Can I Expect on the Day of the CT Scan?

Please allow at least one hour for your CT scan. Most scans take from 15 to 60 minutes.

Depending on the type of scan you need, a contrast material may be injected intravenously (into your vein) so the radiologist can see the body structures on the CT image.

After the contrast agent is injected, you may feel flushed, or you may have a metallic taste in your mouth. These are common reactions. If you experience shortness of breath or any unusual symptoms, please tell the technologist.

The technologist will help you lie in the correct position on the examining table. The table will then automatically move into place for imaging. It is very important that you lie as still as possible during the entire procedure. Movement could blur the images. You may be asked to hold your breath briefly at intervals when the X-ray images are taken.

After the test is performed the results are reviewed by a radiologist.

What Can I Expect After a CT Scan?

  • Your doctor will discuss the results with you.
  • Generally, you can resume your usual activities and normal diet immediately.



Show Sources


Ohio State Wexner Medical Center: “Parkinson’s Disease.”

University of Maryland Medical Center: “Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease.”

MedlinePlus: “CT Scan.”

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