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64 Slice CT (Computed Tomography)

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64 Slice CT (Computed Tomography)

Washington Hospital's Outpatient Imaging Center uses a state-of-the-art 64-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner. The Scanner creates 64 high-resolution anatomical images per rotation. This will decrease scan times to several seconds, less than 15 seconds in most cases. The slices are as thin as a credit card and support advanced cardiac studies, among other studies. These images are combined to form a three dimensional view of the patient's anatomy, allowing physicians to view such things as blockages in the coronary arteries, as well as the motion and pumping action of a patient's heart.

What is Computed Tomography?

A computed tomography (CT) scan uses x-rays to make detailed pictures of structures inside of the body. During the test, the patient lies on a table that is attached to the CT scanner, which is a large doughnut-shaped machine. The CT scanner sends x-rays through the body area being studied. Each rotation of the scanner takes less than a second and provides a picture of a thin slice of the organ or area. All of the pictures are saved as a group on a computer. They also can be printed.

Contrast material is used to make structures and organs easier to see on the CT pictures. It may be used to check blood flow, find tumors, and look for other problems. It can be used in different ways. It may be put in a vein (IV) in your arm, or it may be placed into other parts of your body (such as the rectum or a joint) to see those areas better. For some types of CT scans you drink it. CT pictures may be taken before and after it is used.

A CT scan can be used to study all parts of your body, such as the chest, belly, pelvis, or an arm or leg. It can take pictures of body organs, such as the liver, pancreas, intestines, kidneys, bladder, adrenal glands, lungs, and heart. It also can study blood vessels, bones, and the spinal cord.

CT scans are completed by certified radiology technologists specializing in computed tomography. The images are read by on site radiologist. The reports are then sent to the referring physician.

A CT scanner is a large donut shaped machine attached to a flat table. The patient lies flat on the table then is slowly drawn into the machine. The complete scan usually takes less than 15 seconds. The technologist is always close by to assist the patient.

There are many different types of CT scans that can be performed. See CT Scans: Types of Exams above.