Computed Tomography (CT), also called a CAT scan, is a diagnostic test using X-ray and sophisticated computer equipment to produce cross-sectional and three-dimensional images of body tissues and organs. CT imaging is useful in showing several types of tissue, such as lung, bone, soft tissues and blood vessels.
A CT scan is commonly used to:
- Identify injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys or other internal organs
- Diagnose and evaluate vascular diseases
- Diagnose acute stroke and other neurological processes
- Diagnose and evaluate cancer
Mid Rogue Imaging Center uses the General Electric Lightspeed CT scanner.
How should I prepare for a CT exam?
No special preparation is needed. Depending on the part of the body being scanned you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for one or more hours before the exam.
You can wear any loose fitting, comfortable clothing as long as it has NO metal buttons, zippers or applique. Items such as sweats or tees and elastic waist pants or shorts are usually suitable, and cotton gowns are provided if necessary.
Depending on the part of the body being scanned, you may need to remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids and any dentures
What if I am pregnant?
If you are pregnant—or aren’t certain,—please notify the imaging staff immediately. There are known associations between radiation exposure of developing fetuses, particularly in the first trimester, and increased rates of birth defects. Patients who are pregnant or suspected of being pregnant will be referred back to their physician to determine if other imaging studies may be performed in lieu of CT.
What happens during this procedure?
CT scans are painless. Depending on how many images are needed and the type of preparation need to perform the scans, the exam can take 15 to 30 minutes.
To enhance visibility of body tissue or blood vessels, use of different contrast materials may be administered by:
- Mouth: Oral contrast agents, typically barium sulfate or dilute iodinated contrast, are used to better differentiate various organs within the abdomen.
- IV Injection: When necessary, IV contrast may be used in order to better visualize blood vessels apart from other tissues. The IV contrast is administered into a vein in the arm. Your kidneys will rapidly filter the contrast from your blood stream in a matter of minutes, with the contrast being eliminated as urine within 2 hours. Patients are normally allowed to resume their daily routines after the administration of IV contrast, as there are typically no lingering effects.
What happens after the examination?
After your examination your images will be stored in our Infinitt PACS system. The radiologists will review and interpret your study, and send the report to your physicians’ office. Your findings will be reported to your physician the same day of your examination. Should there be any findings requiring immediate treatment, our radiologists will call your physician in person to make them aware of your condition.
We do not provide test results to you until after the report has been sent your physicians’ office.