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CT – Scan

Provided by Escorts Heart Institute
Brought to you by Healthbase

CT (Computed Tomography) is a diagnostic test that combines the use of x-rays with computer technology. A series of x-rays beams from different angles around the body are used to show cross sectional images of the patient’s body. The images so obtained are assembled in a computer into a three- dimensional picture that can display organs, bones & tissues in great detail.

In spiral CT the examination table advances at a constant rate through the scanner gantry. While the x-ray tube rotates continuously around the patient, tracing a spiral path through the patient. This spiral path gathers continuous data with no gaps between images.

CT Angiography (CTA) is an examination that is used to visualize blood vessels in many areas of the body including the brain, kidneys, pelvis and the arteries serving the lungs. Compared to catheter angiography, which involves injecting contrast medium into an artery CTA is much less invasive & a more patient friendly procedure; contrast medium is injected into a vein rather than an artery.

Why is it done?
CT imaging offers detailed views of different types of tissue, including the lung, bones, soft tissues and blood vessels Using specialized equipment & expert technician to create CT scans of the body , radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases ,infectious diseases, trauma & musculoskeletal disorders.

How is it done?
Patient is asked to change into a gown before the examination & to remove jewellery, eyeglasses and metal objects depending on the part of the body that is being scanned.

The CT technician begins by positioning the patient on the CT table. The patient’s body is supported by the safety straps & is asked to lie very still and follow the instructions of the technician while the scanning is being performed. During the scanning, the technician can see, hear & speak to the patient at all times.

A CT examination often requires the use of different contrast agents to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. The contrast agent may be injected directly into the blood stream, swallowed or administered by enema, depending on the type of examination. Before administering the contrast agent the radiologist or technician will ask whether the patient has any allergies, especially to medications, iodine and whether the patient has a history of diabetes, asthma, a heart condition, kidney problem or thyroid conditions as these conditions indicate a higher risk of reaction to the contrast agent. Fortunately with the safety of the newest contrast agents the adverse effects are very rare.

The department of Radiodiagnosis & Imaging at EHIRC is well equipped to deal any emergency. A CT examination usually takes from 15 minutes to half an hour. When the exam is over, the patient may be asked to wait until the images are examined to determine if more images are needed.

For the CT Angiography contrast medium is injected into a vein with an automatic injector machine that controls the timing & rate of injection, which may continue during part of the time images are recorded. Afterwards the images are reviewed & some will be repeated, if necessary. The real work of CT angiography comes after the images are acquired, when powerful computer programs process the images & make it possible to display them in different ways.

When it is done/advised ?
It is done when clinicians prescribe it after examining patient and going through his/her records. The radiologists also advise for CT scan when routine x-rays and ultrasonography fail to provide adequate information. It is better device for interventional procedures.

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