Computed Tomography (CT/CAT Scan)
- CT Head
- CT Spine
- CT Chest, Abdomen and Pelvis
- CT Joints/Extremities
- CT Angiography
Computed Tomography (CT), also known as computerized tomography or computed axial tomography (CAT), is an advanced imaging technology that produces a sequence of detailed cross-sectional images of the interior of the head, spine, chest, abdomen or other areas of the body.
What is a CT scan?
A CT scanner is shaped like a donut with the body placed in the central hole. The x-ray source rotates in a circle around the patient, sending x-rays through the patients which are recorded by detector. The computer processes this information into finely detailed images. Many images or “slices” make up the complete exam.
What is the CT scanning procedure?
When you enter scan room, you will be asked to lie on a padded comfortable CT table. The technologist will assist you, positioning you correctly. The table will then be moved so that the body part being examined lies in the middle of the scanner ring. You will be able to see out both ends of the scanner. You should remain as still as possible to produce the clearest images. Depending upon the procedure being performed, you may be asked to hold your breath for up to 30 seconds. Most exams require 15 to 45 minutes to complete.
The technologist will be able to see you at all times and will communicate with you via a microphone.
What is contrast material and will I require it?
Depending on the part of your body that is being scanned, a contrast material ( intravenous dye ) may be used to provide sharper images. The contrast material may be given orally and/or by injection. During the injection, you may have a warm, flushed feeling, and have a metallic taste in your mouth. This is a normal bodily response and passes quickly. In very rare instances, the intravenous contrast material may cause allergic symptoms. Please notify your physician immediately if an allergic reaction occurs.
What is Spiral CT and Multi-Slice CT?
Spiral CT scan is a new specialized CT scan technique that involves continuous movement of the patient through the scanner with the ability to scan faster and with higher definition of internal structures. Spiral CT scanning can permit greater visualization of blood vessels and internal tissues, such as those within the chest cavity. This form of scanner may be particularly helpful in the rapid evaluation of severe trauma injuries, such as those sustained in automobile accidents. A spiral CAT scan is also referred to as helical CT scan.The Multi-slice CT is the newest form of spiral CT that acquires multiple channels of data from the multiple rows of detectors for each revolution of the x-ray source. Computer generated images in any special plane are easily produced, insuring maximum diagnostic information.
What is CT Angiography?
Computed tomography angiography (CTA) is a computed tomography technique used to visualize arterial and venous vessels throughout the body. This ranges from arteries serving the brain to those bringing blood to the lungs, kidneys, arms and legs.
The scan is performed simultaneously with a high speed contrast media injection using a technique called Bolus Tracking. Compared to catheter angiography, which involves placing a sizable catheter and injecting contrast material into a large artery or vein, CTA is a much less invasive and more patient-friendly procedure. The contrast material is injected into a small peripheral vein by using a small needle or cannula. This type of exam has been used to screen large numbers of individuals for arterial disease.
Tell your physician and the technologist if you think you may possibly be pregnant. You may be asked to change into a gown. We will advise you about any dietary restrictions when scheduling your appointment. You may continue to take prescribed medications with small sips of water prior to your exam.
- CT Abdomen and/or Pelvis - No food for 2 hours prior to scan, medications and clear fluids allowed and strongly encouraged. Please pick up a prep kit and brochure available at DeKalb Medical Imaging Center at least 24 hours before your exam. Follow the special instructions very closely.
- CT Chest - No food 2 hours prior to exam. Fluids are strongly encouraged.
Call 404.501.2675 for questions about your prep.