Tests & Screenings

Finding the source of your brain or neurological condition is one of the first steps in proper treatment. At Desert Regional Medical Center, we offer a wide range of tests and screenings at our hospital or our fully equipped imaging centers. Among common tests and screenings:


Also referred to as arteriography, it is a medical imaging technique used to visualize the inside of blood vessels and organs. This procedure pays close attention to the heart chambers, veins and arteries.


A biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue, which will then be tested in a lab for signs of disease or infection. Doctors typically suggest a biopsy when another medical test suggests that body tissue is not normal.

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Brain scans

This procedure allows doctors to visualize brain activity as well as possible problems with the brain. MRI, CT scans and PET scans are all examples of different scans to see the brain.

Cerebrospinal fluid analysis

A CFS analysis is a laboratory test to examine a sample of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The fluid is withdrawn from the body during a procedure called a spinal tap.

Computed tomography 

Also referred to as a CT scan or computer tomography. A CAT scan produces cross-sectional images of the body using a computer and X-ray; these images can be helpful in diagnosing illness or injury.


Lumbar discography is a type of injection used to evaluate back pain patients who have not responded to other forms of treatment. Once the injection is performed, a CT scan or X-ray is taken of the spine. 


An EEG is a medical test used to detect electrical activity in the brain. This test uses electrodes that are attached to a patient's scalp; activity is recorded constantly, even when the patient is sleeping.


An EMG is a diagnostic test to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them. EMGs are often used to diagnosis conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.


An ENG test is a diagnostic test that records involuntary movements of the eye caused by a vision condition called nystagmus. ENG can also be used to help diagnose vertigo or balance dysfunction by examining the vestibular system.

Evoked potentials

An EP test measures electrical response from the brain when nerve pathways are stimulated. This test is frequently performed on multiple sclerosis patients. 


Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that uses X-rays in order to create real-time images of various regions of the body. The images are more like a movie and allow physicians to see what is going on inside functioning organs.

Genetic testing 

This testing identifies proteins, genes and chromosomes. By doing so, the test can rule out genetic conditions or determine if a person is at risk for passing a genetic trait on to their children.

Intrathecal contrast-enhanced CT scan

This test utilizes contrast fluid and X-rays in order to better visualize the spinal canal as well as the spinal nerves. This test can help to diagnose problems with the neck and back.

Laboratory screening tests

Laboratory screening tests are a variety of labs and blood work used to screen individuals for many medical conditions. Screening tests can be performed at any age,  and tests will vary based on age.

Magnetic resonance imaging

MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, as well as radio frequency pulses, to produce detailed images of bones, organs, soft tissue and most other bodily structures. MRI does not use radiation.


This is an X-ray exam that uses contrast fluid to detect pathology of the spinal cord — such as the location of an injury, tumor or cyst. The exam involves an injection of contrast, followed by X-rays of the spine.

Neurological examination

This is a physical exam performed by a doctor in order to assess neurological function. This type of exam looks at reflexes to help identify problems with the central nervous system.

Positron emission tomography

A PET scan is a specialized radiology procedure used to examine various body tissues for signs of disease, especially cancer. PET scans can also be used as a follow-up tool to help determine if disease has left the body.


This test is a sleep study that is used to diagnose problems with the brain. Polysomnography records a patient's brain waves, blood oxygen levels, heart rate and breathing.

Single photon emission computed tomography 

A SPECT scan is a form of nuclear medicine imaging that shows how blood flows to organs and tissues. Prior to imaging, a radioactive tracer is injected into the bloodstream for more accurate results.


Medical thermal imaging uses no radiation and produces infrared images of visible changes in the body. Thermography is a safe, noninvasive means of diagnosing a number of medical conditions.

Ultrasound imaging

Also referred to as a sonogram, an ultrasound uses high-frequency sounds waves in order to produce images of internal organs. Because they are captured in real time, images of blood vessels can also be produced.


An X-ray is a type of electromagnetic radiation that creates images of the body. X-rays can be used to diagnose disease or injury.

Your next step: Let Desert Regional Medical Center connect you with a physician in your area.

Call (800) 491-4990 or use our Find a Physician tool to be connected to a neurological specialist who can answer your questions.

You can also read more about diseases and conditions in our health library.