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CT Scan

Written by
Dr. Lochana
and medically reviewed by Dr. Mounica K

Published on Jan 19, 2021   -  6 min read


Computed Tomography is a promising diagnostic tool for identifying many health issues. Read this article to know more.


What Is a CT Scan?

Computer tomography (CT) is a type of scan that helps doctors see the organs, tissues, and pathological conditions. This method is a combination of various X-ray images that are recorded at different angles in and around the body. Computer processing enables the creation of cross-sectional images of both hard and soft tissues in the body. The hard tissues might include bones, and soft tissues might include blood vessels and nerves. It is a painless procedure, and the images of any part can be taken in a very short period. It provides more detailed structures than a normal X-ray.

How Do CT Scan Work?

CT scan uses a narrow X-ray beam that moves around the required part of the body. This movement picturizes the image to form a cross-sectional object. The repeated procedure of this scan can take different slices of the same organ. A doctor can visualize the tumor of any pathology from all sides so that the treatment can be planned better.

The CT scan is done either in the outpatient department or in the hospital. Advanced machines rapidly complete the procedure. The whole scan can be completed within 30 minutes. During the scan procedure, the patient is asked to lie on a motorized and narrow table. This table will slide through the tunnel that has the opening. The patient will be safeguarded in the same position with the help of straps and pillows. When the patient moves into the scanner, the tube of the X-ray will rotate around the patient. During this rotation, whirring and buzzing noises can be heard. The patient will also be asked to hold the breath at a certain specific point. This is done to avoid blurred images.

After the procedure, the patient can return to regular activities. In cases of administration of the contrast dye, special instructions will be provided by the doctor or the technician.

What Are the Generations of CT Scans?

There are seven generations of CT scans. They are:

What Is the Use of a CT Scan?

The uses of CT scan are:

How Is a Patient Prepared Before the CT Scan?

A patient is prepared based on which organ is needed to be scanned. The patient is asked to follow the following instruction:

What Is CT Scan With Contrast?

The hard tissues of the body, like bones, can be easily visualized using a CT scan. But it is hard for the soft tissues to be seen clearly. It appears very faint in a scanned image to visualize the soft tissue structures in a precise manner. A contrast dye or material is used. These materials block the X-ray radiations, and they tend to appear whitish on a CT scan. This serves as an essential tool for highlighting the soft tissues such as blood vessels and nerves. The contrast material is administered to the patient through any of the following possible ways.

What Are the Contrast Materials Used in CT Scan?

The contrast materials are also called contrast dyes or agents. The various materials that are used for providing contrast to an image are:

What Are the Indications of the CT Scan?

Indication denotes the conditions and criteria where a CT scan can be used.

What Are the Risks of Contrast Dyes?

It is necessary to get recommendations from the doctor before receiving the contrast materials. In rare cases, these materials can cause health issues or any type of allergic reaction. In most cases, the reactions are only mild and can result in itchiness and rashes. If the allergic reaction prolongs, then it can result in life-threatening conditions. The various side effects of the contrast CT scan are:

In complicated cases, the following signs and symptoms are noticed.

What Are the Contraindications for Contrast CT Scan?

The various contraindications associated with the contrast CT scan are:

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Last reviewed at:
19 Jan 2021  -  6 min read




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