CT scanning—sometimes called Computed Tomography or CAT scanning—is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-sectional images of the area being studied can then be examined on a computer monitor, printed or transferred to a CD.
CT scans of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular x-ray exams
Why should I do it ?
- CT scanning of head is typically used to detect:
- Bleeding, brain injury and skull fractures in patients with head injuries.
- Bleeding caused by a ruptured or leaking aneurysm in a patient with a sudden severe headache.
- A blood clot or bleeding within the brain shortly after a patient exhibits symptoms of a stroke.
- A stroke, especially with a new technique called Perfusion CT.
- Brain tumors.
- Enlarged brain cavities (ventricles) in patients with hydrocephalus.
- Diseases or malformations of the skull.
Any preparations needed?
- You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam.
- Metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work. Women will be asked to remove bras containing metal underwire. You may be asked to remove any piercings, if possible.
- You should inform the technologist if you have a pacemaker.
- You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for a few hours beforehand, especially if a contrast material will be used in your exam.
- You should inform your physician of all medications you are taking and if you have any allergies.
- Inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions and whether you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and kidney disease or thyroid problems.
- Women should always inform their physician and the CT technologist if there is any possibility that they may be pregnant.
- Your diet will be restricted to clear liquids the day before the examination
- Be sure to inform your physician if you have heart, liver or kidney disease to be certain that the bowel prep will be safe.