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CT Scan

A CT scan, sometimes called a CAT scan uses special x-ray equipment to produce pictures. An x-ray tube rotates around your body, scanning it with x-rays. Imagine your body as a loaf of bread and you are looking at one end of the loaf. As you remove each slice of bread you can see the entire surface of that slice. Your body is seen on CT scan pictures in a similar way.


Some CT scans will require you to drink special contrast before your test. You may also be given an injection of contrast (which we sometimes call x-ray dye) through an IV in your arm while we take your pictures. Both of these types of contrast show up white on your CT scan images allowing us to take a better look at your organs inside. You may be instructed to not eat or drink anything the night before your test.

Important things to tell your technologist:

  • Symptoms you are having
  • If you have a known allergy to x-ray dye
  • If you become anxious in confined spaces or are claustrophobic (note: most
    patients do well with this exam and this is not usually an issue)
  • If you are pregnant
  • Any previous exams of the area being tested
  • Any previous surgeries of the area being tested
  • Any allergies you may have

Some specific reasons this test may be used:

  • To determine the presence or spread of cancer
  • Blood clots
  • Kidney function
  • Renal disease
  • Spine fractures
  • Brain bleed or stroke
  • Sinus disease
  • Tumors
  • Abdominal disease

Note: The imaging staff is trained to acquire images for a radiologist to review. The radiologist is specially trained to look at x-ray studies and make a diagnosis off of them. The imaging staff is not fully trained to do so, therefore we will not be able to give you results at the time of your exam.

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