A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays and a sophisticated computer to view specific parts of the anatomy in great detail. It is a painless, noninvasive, and common imaging exam.
Unlike a traditional X-ray, where the radiation beam comes from a stationary or non-moving source, a CT scan is created by moving the X-ray beam around the patient to obtain horizontal and vertical cross-sectional views. Spiral or “helical” CT scans can capture three-dimensional images.
Depending on the part of the body being scanned, a contrast medium may be given to the patient either orally or injected into a vein. This allows the images to be seen more clearly. In some cases, fasting may be required.
Our CT Technologists
Our CT technologists are accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology and licensed by the State of Connecticut. All have passed a clinical application and written testing for starting intravenous (IV) fluids.
Types of CT Exams
- CT Angiography for detailed images of blood vessels, an alternative to a traditional angiogram.
- CT lung cancer screening for early detection
- Dentascan to view the upper and lower jaw
- 64-slice volume CT scan- advanced technology that is more than twice as fast as conventional scanners. The 64-slice volume scanner captures images of a beating heart in five heartbeats, an organ in one second and performs whole body scans in ten seconds. It identifies cardiac disease that less advanced scanners miss, and aids physicians in diagnosing disease, viewing internal abnormalities, and assessing the extent of trauma damage.
Why you would need a CT scan
A CT scan allows the physician to see various angles of a particular structure such as the brain, the heart or joints inside the body. It is sometimes used to diagnose coronary artery disease.
Female patients who are or may be pregnant, or are breastfeeding, should discuss this with the physician before scheduling and with the technologist before the scan.
What You Can Expect
Our technologist will greet you and help you to prepare for your exam. If a contrast study is ordered, the technologist will start your IV in a preparation area. After a prescribed amount of time, you move to the CT scan room where you will lie on the CT “couch,” or table. The technologist will answer your questions and once you are satisfied your test will begin.
The CT scanner is a large doughnut-shaped machine. The patient lies on a table with the part of the body to be examined positioned within the scanner opening. The table moves slowly and periodically during the procedure. A whirring or whooshing sound may be heard as the scan is performed.
It is important to lie still during the exam so the images will be as clear as possible. You will be able to speak to the technologist performing the exam through a built-in intercom system at all times.
A CT scan usually takes about 20-30 minutes.
Lung Cancer Screening - l-ELCAP
Greenwich Hospital is participating in a lung cancer study called the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program, or I-ELCAP. Its main objective is to learn whether early identification and diagnosis of lung cancer leads to longer survival.
Lung cancer screening requires a low-dose CT lung scan, which is a 3-dimensional X-ray of the chest reconstructed by computer. The scan has the radiation equivalent of 2-3 chest X-rays.
For more information about lung cancer screening at Greenwich Hospital, call 203-863-3698.
Learn more about l-ELCAP