Multislice CT Exam

What is a Multislice CT exam?

Computerized Tomography provides cross sectional images of the body. Multislice CT technology provides shorter exam times, reduced X-ray exposure in some cases, and clear anatomical visualization. Three dimensional images are produced instantly to provide the most accurate information.
CT scans help detect conditions that regular X-ray studies can't, including tumors and blood clots.


How do CT scans work?

An X-ray tube rotates around the body, scanning it with X-rays. Then a computer uses readings taken from those X-rays to make an image on a video screen. Advanced CT allows physicians to view very thin slices of anatomy including the vascular system.


How to prepare for a CT scan?

  • Your physician, and the radiology service will coordinate to provide any detailed instructions, and necessary pre-authorization for your exam.
  • Bring something to read, as you have to wait after drinking the oral contrast. If instructed, oral contrast is taken approximately one and a half hours before your exam.
  • Intravenous or IV Contrast agents make anatomy easier to visualize. You may be required not to eat or drink 4 to 6 hours before your exam.
  • When scheduling your exam make it clear if you have allergies, particularly to iodine or seafood, as some people are allergic to certain contrast agents.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and remove jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses and dentures before a head scan. You may need to change into a gown for a body scan.


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In general, this is what you can expect:

  1. Positioning: The technologist will help position you on the examination table.
  2. Contrast medium: If needed, you may receive a drink with contrast before the exam, in addition to the contrast injection. If IV contrast is necessary, it is a requirement to have a laboratory blood test, with results of the BUN and Creatinine levels.

During the IV injection you may experience a warm sensation, slight nausea, or metallic taste. Itchiness or shortness of breath may indicate an allergic reaction.

  1. Scanner entry: Your Technologist and Radiologist will be able to see and hear you throughout your exam.
  2. Scan: During the scan you will hear the rotation of the X-ray tube. The table may move in a continuous movement, or move just between scans. You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds.

For a body scan:

  • You may need to change into a hospital gown, because zippers and snaps containing metal can interfere with the scan.

For a head scan:

  • You usually will be able to wear your own clothes.
  • The technologist will comfortably position you for the scan.

Relax and stay still. The scan is very fast.
For best results it is very important that you do not move during the scan.
After the CT scan, a radiologist will review your results. Your health-care provider will consult with the radiologist, make a diagnosis and explain the results to you.


Some questions and answers

Should I have a CT scan if I'm pregnant?
Make sure your health-care provider knows that you are pregnant. You and your health-care provider can then decide whether you should have a scan.

Do CT scans hurt?
No. However, some people may feel nervous when entering the scanner or experience some discomfort after being given a contrast medium injection.


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