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Diagnosis

Although many brain tumors can easily be seen with a CT scan or MRI, a stereotactic biopsy is sometimes needed to confirm the diagnosis and type of tumor. A special frame is attached to the patient’s head and adjusted to the tumor coordinates provided by a CT scan or other image of the brain. A small hole is drilled into the skull and a needle is inserted to obtain a sample of the tumor for inspection under a microscope. Advances in imaging technology have allowed stereotactic biopsies to be done without the frame.