What is CT?

Computerized tomography or “CT” is an imaging procedure in which a narrow x-ray beam  rotates around the body, taking a series of x-rays from different angles. These pictures are then sent to a computer, where they are combined to generate cross-sectional images—or “slices”—of the body. These slices may also be combined to produce a 3-D image of a particular area of the body.  In some cases, it may be necessary to inject iodine contrast through an IV in your arm or hand during a CT.  Contrast allows the radiologist to see blood vessels and vascular organs more clearly.

CT images are 100 times more detailed than plain x-rays and give doctors the ability to view structures inside the body from many different angles.

Specialized CT Procedures

Cardiac CT scan

A cardiac (heart) CT scan is a non-invasive test that can detect and measure calcium build up (called plaque) in the arteries supplying blood to your heart. Plaque can grow and harden inside arteries- restricting blood flow to the muscles of the heart. Measuring calcified plaque with a CT heart scan may allow your doctor to identify possible heart disease before you have signs and symptoms. Since the findings on cardiac CT are expressed as a “calcium score”, this test may also be called a coronary artery calcium scoring test.

Virtual CT Colonoscopy

Virtual colonoscopy is a relatively new and minimally invasive test used to screen for large colorectal polys and cancer. Unlike traditional colonoscopy, which requires a scope to be inserted into your rectum and advanced through your colon, virtual colonoscopy uses a CT scan to produce hundreds of cross-sectional images of your abdominal organs. The images are combined and digitally manipulated to provide a detailed view of the inside of the colon and rectum. Early detection of colon lesions with proper follow-up and appropriate treatment dramatically increase the cure and survival rates in people with colorectal disease.

CT Perfusion

is a CT-based non-invasive imaging technique that allows physicians to measure how much blood is present in the brain and how quickly it is moving. This is done by scanning the patient several times every few seconds before, during and after the intravenous delivery of an iodine-containing contrast agent that absorbs the X-rays. Perfusion CT is used in the diagnosis of stroke, clogged carotid arteries, and certain types of brain tumors.

Low Dose Lung Screening

A Low-Dose Lung Screen scan is used to detect lung cancer early- when it is more likely to be curable. If you are over the age of 50 and are a past or current smoker, talk to your doctor about scheduling a lung screening.   A Lung Screening is a quick, painless, low-dose CT scan and is performed in the nuclear medicine department at Boone Hospital. For more information, visit our Lung Cancer Screening page.