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What Is a Ct Scan

What Is a Ct Scan

What Is a Ct Scan

A computerized tomography scan is a type of X-ray. It is a noninvasive imaging test that provides three-dimensional views of structures inside the body.

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Traditional X-ray machines use a fixed tube to point X-rays at a single spot. As X-rays travel through the body, they are absorbed in different amounts by different tissues. Higher density tissue create a whiter image than other tissues against the black background of the film. X-rays produce 2D images. CT scans have a doughnut-shaped tube that rotates the X-ray 360 degrees around you. The data captured provides a detailed 3D view of the inside of your body.

Sometimes, your scan uses a contrast agent. This contrast agent, sometimes called a dye, improves the images by highlighting certain features. Your healthcare provider will either have you drink a special liquid containing the contrast agent or give you an IV injection with the contrast or both depending on the type of CT scan and the reason for the scan. The contrast agent is cleared from your body through your urine, first rapidly then more slowly over the next 24 hours. (Source: my.clevelandclinic.org)

X-Rays

A radiology technologist will perform the CT scan. During the test, you’ll lie on a table inside a large, doughnut-shaped CT machine. As the table slowly moves through the scanner, the X-rays rotate around your body. It’s normal to hear a whirring or buzzing noise. Movement can blur the image, so you’ll be asked to stay very still. You may need to hold your breath at times.

to help internal structures show up more clearly on the X-ray images. The contrast material blocks X-rays and appears white on the images, allowing it to highlight the intestines, blood vessels, or other structures in the area being examined. Depending on the part of your body that’s being inspected, you may need to drink a liquid containing the contrast. Alternatively, the contrast may need to be injected into your arm or administered through your rectum via an enema. If your doctor plans on using a contrast material, they may ask you to fast for four to six hours before your CT scan. (Source: www.healthline.com)

 

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