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How is toxic anoxia diagnosed?

To diagnose toxic anoxia, doctors will start with a physical exam that also includes questions about your symptoms and medical history. Since toxic anoxia is really the cause of the brain damage and not the result, the most important part of diagnosis involves determining the severity and location of the actual brain damage. To do this, a doctor will perform brain scans and other laboratory tests. MRI and CT scans produce images that show what's happening in the brain. SPECT scans are a special kind of CT scan that check brain metabolism and blood movement. Electroencephalograms, or EEGs, are used to measure the brain's electrical activity. Blood tests may also be used to check the blood's oxygen levels. Doctors use the results of these tests to find out what caused your brain to stop using the oxygen in your bloodstream, and also to determine the extent of the damage.

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