CT Scan Information From A CT Technologist

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Pricing, preparation and the indications and uses for CT over MRI and MRI vs CT can be found by searching this information resource site. But first, a little history and background about what CT scan is...

Computed tomography (CT), was originally known as "EMI scan" because it was developed at a research branch of Electric and Musical Industries in England. It was later known as Computed Axial Tomography (CAT scan).

The "C" is for computed meaning computerized, the "A" for images shown in an axial plane or slice and tomography derived from the Greek tomos meaning slice and graphein meaning to record.

As the technology advanced, these slices were able to be stacked and viewed in other planes besides the axial and thus, the axial was dropped and CAT scan is now known as CT Scan (Computed Tomography).

CT produces multiple images of data in the form of a slab or a block of the body that is sliced and stacked like a sliced loaf of bread. Any slice, of any desired thickness, from anywhere out of the "loaf" can be taken out of the slab or "loaf" to be viewed and manipulated through a process known as windowing, in order to see various structures based on shades of gray, black and white on a set numbered scale.

We can then take that slice, put it back in the "loaf of bread" and stack it again and then rotate it for viewing from different angles. We can lay the stack down, page through it one slice at a time, quickly or slowly, turn it on it's side, roll it over, stand it up or spin it around in a circle. This is all done by computer which can give us the ability to slice the body from front to back, back to front or left side to right side or right side to left side.

This enables us to see the body from the front, the side, the back or any angle desired and any depth desired. This is the reason the "A" in CAT Scan was taken out and is now referred to as CT Scan. We are no longer limited to just axial slices only. Three dimensional viewing is now common.

Computed Tomography (computerized slicing) took a huge leap in technology in 2001-2003. Improvements on the technology catapulted CT to the forefront of medical imaging. With these improvements, more information was being obtained in a shorter amount of time.

It has now become the most widely used imaging modality in trauma situations.

The use of CT Scanning is often the deciding exam about whether there is need for surgical intervention in the event of an accident. Trauma surgeons rely on the high yielding data from CT in their assessment of injury.

The speed at which the extent of injuries can be seen is only minutes. Injuries from the top of the head to the bottom of the pelvis can be revealed in less than 15 minutes.

With the advancement in CT technology's speed, came the ability to see arteries that could not be seen before. "Dye" or Contrast Material in an artery is quickly pumped out leaving only a narrow window of opportunity to see contrast-filled arteries. This faster technology allowed the capture of contrast-filled arteries for greater visualization of arterial anatomy.

The ability to see arteries with out having to insert a catheter into an artery and fill it with dye or Contrast Material saved many hours of preparation and exam time and radiation exposure. Now arterial disease and abnormalities can be seen with just a IV placed into a vein and injected with contrast material. Thus, CTA was born. The A in CTA is now known as CT Angiography.

CT Scan
What does a CT Scan show? CT Scan allows us to see internal organs like the liver, spleen and pancreas.
CT Scan preparation
CT Scan preparation takes longer than the scan itself
CT Contrast
CT contrast is used to enhance the visualization of internal organs and the structures around them.
CT Scan Cost
CT scan cost varies greatly. Prices will range from 300-1,500 US dollars and there is no set price standard yet.
MRI or CT? Which is better?
What Is An MRI
What is an MRI? Is it better than CT?
MRI vs CT scan
What 's the difference between MRI and CT Scan? Which is better? CT is superior at visualizing the lungs.
Head CT
Head CT scans are the first choice if injury to the head occurs. MRI is the better tool over CT for a brain tumor.
CT Neck
CT neck scans are superior to MRI when looking for fractures of the bones in the neck. MRI is superior to CT when looking for spinal cord injury.
CT Chest
CT chest has superior visualizion of chest anatomy and the lungs.
CT of Abdomen
CT of abdomen is superior for looking at the liver, spleen, pancreas and other internal organs.
CT Kidney
CT kidney, for the possible presense of kidney stones is fast and easy with CT. CT images of the kidneys can reveal the possible presense of calcified stones.
Pelvis CT
Internal organs seen well with pelvis CT. The boney structures of the pelvis are seen well using CT.
3 D CT
3 D CT images have spactacular detail. They enhance anatomy giving detailed information for pre-surgical planning.
Low GI Diet
A Low GI diet will burn fat fast. Pancreatitis needs special dietary support.
Computed Tomography Medical Imaging
ct scan visualizes coronary arteries. Arteries of the heart can be examined for narrowing.
Angiography CT Is Less Invasive
Angiography ct scan is the imaging of arteries using CT scan.
CT Body Scan
CT Body scan benefits vs risks should be carefully considered.
What is a Biopsy
What is a biopsy for? CT guided biopsy of bone and lung are commonly done by CT guidedance. Biopsy of lung nodules or tumors are almost always performed with CT guidance.
CT Scan Radiation Is Kept To A Minimum
CT scan radiation is kept to a minimum by the CT technologist. CT scan in pregnancy should be avoided unless it's an emergency like a car accident.
Radiation Exposure
Radiation exposure to the average person is twice the amount of radiation from background sources than from medical x-rays.
Radiation Effects
Radiation effects such as prompt radiation sickness are only from very high levels of exposure such as thermonuclear war.
Radiologic Technologist
Radiology employment is in demand. A radiologic technologist becomes a CT technologist after 2 years of school.
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CT Weight Limit
CT weight limit is commonly around 350-400 pounds. Some CT Scanner manufacturers are increasing the weight limits to accomodate patients that exceed 400 pounds.
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