What is computed tomography (CT Scan)?
Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging procedure that uses specialized x-ray equipment to create detailed images or scans of areas inside the body. This is sometimes called a computed tomography or computerized axial tomography (CT) scan.
The word tomography comes from the Greek words tomes (a cut, slice, or section) and graphene (to write or record). Each image created by the CT procedure shows organs, bones, and other tissues in a thin “piece” of the body. All pieces of images produced in CT are like slices of bread – you can view each slice individually (two-dimensional images) or you can view the entire bar (three-dimensional image). Computer programs are used to create both types of images.
Modern CT machines take continuous images in a helical (or spiral) fashion rather than taking a series of images of individual parts of the body, just like the original CT machines. Helical City (also known as Spiral City) has several advantages over older City techniques: it is faster, produces quality 3D images of areas of the body, and can better detect minor abnormalities.
In addition to its use in cancer, CT is widely used in the diagnosis of diseases and conditions of the circulatory (blood) system such as coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis), vascular aneurysms, and blood clots; Spinal conditions; Stones in the kidneys and bladder; Bulbs Inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis and sinusitis.
And injuries to the head, skeletal system, and internal organs. Computed tomography is also used to detect abnormal brain function or deposits in adult patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of cognitive impairment.
Uses of computed tomography
It is useful for:
- Soft fabric
- Blood vessels
- CT is often the preferred way to diagnose many cancers such as liver, lung, and pancreas.
The image allows the doctor to determine the presence and location of the tumor, its size, and how much nearby tissue is affected. A head scan provides important information about the brain, such as whether there is bleeding, arterial swelling, or a tumor.
The CT scan reveals a tumor in the abdomen and any swelling or inflammation in nearby internal organs. It shows the layers of the spleen, kidneys, or liver. Because a CT scan detects abnormal tissue, it can be used to plan for radiation therapy and biopsy, and it provides valuable data on blood flow and other vascular conditions.
It helps the doctor to assess bone diseases, bone density, and the condition of the patient’s spine. It also provides important data on injuries to the patient’s arms, legs, and other skeletal structures. Small bones are also clearly visible, as is the tissue around them.
Risk Factors of CT Scan (computed tomography)
A CT scan contains a small dose of targeted radiation. This level of radiation has not been shown to be harmful even in people who have had multiple scans. The risk of cancer as a result of a CT scan is estimated to be less than 1 in 2,000. The amount of radiation to which a person is exposed is estimated to be equivalent to several months and several years of natural exposure in the environment.
The scan is done only if there is a clear medical reason to do it. The results lead to treatment for serious conditions. By deciding to have a scan, doctors make sure the benefits outweigh any risks. Problems that arise from radiation exposure include cancer and thyroid problems.
It is very rare in adults and not even in children. However, it is more prone to the effects of radiation. This does not mean that health problems occur, but any CT scan should be noted in the child’s medical record. In some cases, a CT scan will only show the required results. For some conditions, an ultrasound or MRI scan may be done.
CT scan is during pregnancy?
Any woman who suspects that she is pregnant should inform her doctor in advance, as there is a risk that the X-rays will harm the fetus. Citing the American College of Radiography, the American Pregnancy Association (APA) states that “radiation dose should not be included in any diagnostic radiograph until it has adverse effects on the fetus or developing fetus.”
However, the APA states that CT scans are not recommended for pregnant women, “unless the benefits clearly outweigh the risk.”
Breastfeeding after CT scan
If breastfeeding requires an iodinated intravenous dye instead of breastfeeding, you should avoid breastfeeding for about 24 hours while the mother is breastfeeding.
Differences between CT Scan and MRI are
- The CT scan uses X-rays, but an MRI uses magnets and radio waves.
- Unlike an MRI, a CT scan does not show tendons or ligaments.
- MRI is good for examining the spinal cord.
- CT scan is well suited to cancer, pneumonia, abnormal chest x-rays, bleeding in the brain, especially after an injury.
- The brain tumor is more clearly visible on MRI.
- CT scan shows organ tears and injuries more quickly, so it is more suitable for injury cases.
- On a CT scan, the broken bones and vertebrae are more clearly visible.
- CT scans provide a better image of the lungs and organs in the chest cavity between the lungs.
Preparation of CT scan
When you schedule your CT scan, the hospital or center staff will tell you how to prepare.
What to eat: The staff may instruct you to drink only clear liquids starting at midnight before your appointment. They may also tell you not to eat or drink for at least 4 hours before the scan. For the scans of certain parts of the body, it is better to eat and drink at any time before. Ask your healthcare team for specific instructions for your test.
What to wear: Wear loose-fitting clothing without zippers or metal buttons. All clothing that contains metal and affects the examination should be removed. This includes shirts, bras, and glasses with belts, earrings, snaps, or zippers. If you cannot wear your clothes during the scan, you can wear a hospital gown.
If you need a contrast medium for the scan: You may need a contrast medium when scanning. If so, your doctor may ask you to have a blood test to monitor your kidney function. You can always have a blood test a few weeks before the scan.
Personal medical history or concerns: Be prepared to talk to your healthcare team about these things:
- All the medications you are taking.
- If you have a medical problem such as diabetes.
- Do you have any drug or food allergies?
- Any allergic reaction to iodine you may have had in the past.
- Should you take your usual medication on the day of the scan?
- You may be breastfeeding or pregnant. A CT scan puts the baby at risk.
- If you have a problem with the test.
Insurance, expenses, and compliance: If you are concerned about the cost of your CT scan, find out ahead of time what your insurance provider will cover. Ask how much you will have to pay. Once you arrive at the doctor’s office or hospital, the staff will ask you to sign a consent form. This form indicates that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the scan and that you agree to have it.
During the CT scan
- The patient must lie on a motorized examination table that slides into a donut-shaped CT scanner.
- In most cases, the patient lies on his back and on his back. But sometimes they have to lie on their stomach or side.
- After an X-ray image, the bed is moved slightly and then the machine takes another image and. The patient must lie a lot for the best results.
- During the examination, everyone except the patient leaves the room. The intercom allows two-way communication between the radiographer and the patient.
- If the patient is a child, parents or adults can stand or sit nearby but should wear a lead apron to avoid radiation exposure.
After a CT scan
If a contrast dye is used in your procedure, it will be monitored over a period of time for side effects or adverse reactions, such as itching, swelling, a rash, or trouble breathing. If you notice any pain, redness, and/or swelling at the IV site after returning home from your procedure, you should inform your doctor as it may indicate an infection or other type of reaction.
Generally, no special care is required after a CT scan. You can resume your normal diet and activities unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Your doctor may give you additional or alternative instructions after the procedure, depending on your specific situation.