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NY
A 35-year-old female asked:

Can a negative ct scan without contrast of the head miss a brain tumor causing headaches?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Fisher
Neurology 34 years experience
Yes, it can: Did you go to an ER with H/A & they did a knee-jerk don't-sue-us CT scan which was normal? If you've had H/As for at least 3 years, the chances of finding a tumor on brain imaging are no greater than for someone with no history of H/A. Are your headaches of recent onset, relentless & worsening? If not, you can find something else to worry about, like the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Be reassured: The CAT scan did NOT reveal a tumor, so do not focus upon that type of problem! Instead, find out the type of headache you are experiencing so appropriate treatment can be initiated. If migraine, preventative measures exist, but triggers could involve neck, jaw, dentition, sinuses.

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Maryville, TN
A 19-year-old male asked:

What are the odds that a CT scan with and without contrast missed a brain tumor?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stevwn Schneider
Neurosurgery 39 years experience
Overall mri better: It depends whether or not the scan was done with contrast. Chances are low that anything large was missed although smaller lesions go unseen from time to time. Mri is overall more sensitive for showing tumor especially when performed with gadolinium .Unless you are specifically looking for calcium or an MRI is contraindicated , MRI should be the procedure of choice.

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Last updated Jan 19, 2017

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