Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is an imaging technique used to measure the magnetic fields produced by electrical activity in the brain. These measurements are commonly used in both research and clinical settings. There are many uses for the MEG, including assisting surgeons in localizing the source of epilepsy , sensory mapping, brain signatures associated with autism, and assisting researchers in determining the function of various parts of the brain.
There are different preparations to follow according to exactly what type of MEG scan your child is having. The technologist will call you to explain the preparations in detail prior to the exam.
If your child has a noted allergy to radiographic contrast, additional preparations may be necessary.
Dress your child comfortably, in clothes that are easily removed (sweat clothes, t -shirts). Your child will be given a gown to change into for the MEG and MRI.
If you have copies of your child's previous imaging studies from another institution, please bring them for comparison.
The magnetic field used to perform diagnostic images will also affect implanted medical devices and other various items. Implanted patient devices and other items such as braces will affect the sensors of the MEG and MRI. For this reason, every patient MUST be safety screened to ensure the child and parent or guardian are SAFE to enter the magnetic field and the MEG/MRI environment.
Note: Due to the sensitive nature of the MEG recording devices, Parents /Guardians will NOT be allowed to accompany their child into the MEG exam room.
Parents / Guardians will be allowed to accompany their child into the MRI exam room, other arrangements should be made for siblings.
Women who are pregnant or may be pregnant will be asked to leave the exam room during the procedure. Please make sure that there is someone else available to accompany the child during the exam, if needed.
You must check in to Outpatient Registration, on the 2nd Floor of the Wood building at the Main Hospital, 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment, or 1 hour prior if your child is having General Anesthesia. This is where your registration process occurs.
The referring physician must fax us a copy of the prescription stating the exam to be done and the reason for it. A MEG exam will not be scheduled without this prescription.
If your insurance requires a referral, it must be presented at the time of registration. Proof of insurance will also need to be provided at this time.
Once the registration process is completed, the MEG Department will be notified. A technologist or nurse will come out to the central registration area and bring you and your child to a room for IV placement if necessary.
If your child is receiving General Anesthesia (GA), you will first be taken to our nursing station. Here, the GA team will place an IV in your child for the sedation/injection needed for the exam. This IV tube will be placed in the child's arm, hand, or foot. Your child will only feel a little discomfort. Once the child has proper IV access, and/or a sedation assessment completed, the procedure can begin.
If your child is not receiving GA you will be taken to the MEG scanner room. The technologist will explain the procedure to both you and your child. Your child will be asked to change into a gown and lock up any necessary items. Parents may also utilize the locker.
You and your child will be taken into the MEG scanner. The technologist will position your child on the MEG table, most likely lying on their back, depending on the type of scan. The MEG scan requires us to place three leads on your child's head. We will also need to make three small dots with a skin marker in these areas. We will dim the lights and explain to your child that we will be able to see them and talk with them during the scan. Your child will then be moved into the MEG scanner helmet. The technologist will ask your child to hold very still during the scan. Any type of movement will make the data look blurry, and the scan may have to be repeated.
After the technologist and parent leave the room, the MEG scan will begin. The MEG scanner is very quiet. Your child will not feel any pain or discomfort associated with the MEG exam, but sometimes holding still for a long time can be uncomfortable.
Your child may need additional scanning depending on their clinical history. If needed, the bed will placed into a seated position after the initial scan for several other scans to be run. These scans require your child to participate. They may be asked to view and respond to a video monitor screen and require them to press buttons on a box. None of these devices cause any discomfort to your child.
The data is collected on a computer screen and is sent to a team of physicians to be interpreted.
If your child received contrast for the MRI portion of the exam, it is important to mildly increase their fluid intake for the day.
If your child received General Anesthesia, follow any instructions given by the Anesthesia department upon completion of this procedure.
The data from your child's exam must be post processed and reviewed by several clinicians before a report is sent to your physician's office. This may take several weeks.
If your physician has any questions regarding the report, he/she may call 215-590-2584.