Computed Tomography (CT)

Also known as a “CAT scan,” CT combines multiple x-ray images to produce a two-dimensional cross-section view with as much as 100 times more clarity than conventional x-ray.

CT imaging is used to clearly show soft tissue, like the brain, as well as dense tissue, like bone. The information gathered during a CT scan is processed by a computer and interpreted by a radiologist to diagnose, or rule out, disease.

Given intravenously, the contrast agent highlights certain body parts to enable the radiologist to better see any abnormalities. CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis may require the patient to drink a dilute, iodinated contrast medium to outline the intestines for better viewing.

Computed Tomography

Types of specialized CT scans

CT Angiography

A special technique to visualize arteries and veins, CT angiography (or CTA) is used to evaluate stenosis, aneurysms, dissections and blockages in the vessels. Unlike traditional angiography, CTA is fast and non-invasive. The injection of a contrast agent (dye) is always needed to help visualize the blood vessels.

Head CT

To evaluate the brain for injury, fractures and internal bleeding or clots, a CT scan is often used. It can also be used to help doctors diagnose disease (stroke, brain tumors), check for inflammation and more.

Coronary Calcium Score

The coronary calcium score is a fast, safe and easy CT scan of the heart. It’s the only non-invasive test that can accurately detect—or rule out—the presence of heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals. The test uses advanced low-dose CT imaging and special software to detect the presence of plaque in the coronary arteries.

Low-Dose Lung CT (LDCT)

A low-dose lung CT screening is fast, painless and completely non-invasive, and more effective than X-ray at detecting smaller, earlier stage cancers.

High-Resolution Lung CT (HRCT)

HRCT is a special technique for imaging the lungs in greater detail, allowing the radiologist to detect diffuse interstitial lung disease.

When preparing for a CT examination

In advance of your exam, please inform your radiologist or technologist if you:

  • Have had a previous adverse reaction to iodine contrast injection
  • Have renal disease
  • Are over 65
  • Have asthma and use an inhaler 2 or more times per day

If you are pregnant, please tell your doctor or a patient representative before your test.

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