How to determine Right/Left in brain scans?



I am trying to figure out which side is right and which side is left when looking at a brain scan such as a CT scan of the brain (no marker clue shown on the xray). If the above photo comes through on this post there is a whitish area in the left side of the picture of the "slice" of the brain tissue. Is this the patient's right or left??

{If no photo posts: When you look at the picture the oval brain shape has a discrepancy on the left half of the picture. Is that the patient's left? Is it like you are looking down on the patient's head?}



429 Posts

Specializes in ICU,ANTICOAG,ACUTE STROKE,EDU,RESEARCH. Has 26 years experience.

Well I cannot see the scan, but you could go to the lowest slices of the scan and figure out which is anterior by looking for the orbital cavities and nasal bones and that will tell you which is right and left.

Also if the patient has a unilateral neurological deficit and you think the white abnormality is a bleed, then it should be in the brain hemisphere opposite to the side of the clinical deficit. Of course the white are may just be calcification.


19 Posts

I can figure out which is the front (anterior) and which is the posterior part of the brain by its shape. BUT when you interpret the x-ray is the orientation such that you are looking down on the patient's head (makes the patient's right on the right side of the x-ray, when the anterior part of the brain is on top when the picture is viewed) or are you looking up at the slice of brain tissue from the patient's neck. You could flip the x-ray two ways with both orientations having the anterior part of the brain on the top, but flipping the right/left orientation. I am pretty sure that there is a standard, but I can't remember what it is??

Thanks for hanging in here with me on this one. Wish I could figure out how to add a picture.... This is not an actual patient I am caring for, just a description under a photo that says the lesion is in the patient's right temporal lobe, but the lesion appears in the left side of the brain least left to me....


19 Posts

Thanks for the information, but when I go to that website, no images show up. I'm assuming one has to register (doctors who read CT scans) in order to view the slides. I think you are right in that the orientation is as if you were looking down on the patient's head at each slice.


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