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CT of the Chest

A CT of the Chest is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions, involving the blood vessels, lungs, ribs and spine. CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-sectional images can then be examined and studied on a computer monitor.

Your doctor may recommend a CT of the Chest to diagnose:

  • Lung cancer
  • Old or new pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Emphysema, inflammation or other diseases of the pleura (which covers the lungs)
  • Evaluate injury to the chest, including blood vessels, lungs, ribs and spine

The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT examination table, usually lying flat on your back or possibly on your side or stomach. Straps and pillows may be used to help you maintain the correct position and to hold still during the exam. If a contrast material is used, it will be injected into a vein shortly before scanning begins. Next, the table will move quickly through the scanner to determine the correct starting position for the scans. Then, the table will move slowly through the machine as the actual CT scanning is performed. You may be asked to hold your breath during the scanning. Any motion, whether breathing or body movements, can lead to artifacts on the images. This is similar to the blurring seen on a photograph taken of a moving object. When the examination is completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist verifies that the images are of high enough quality for accurate interpretation. The actual CT scanning takes less than 30 seconds and the entire process is usually completed within 30 minutes.

For Physicians

Premier's clinical expertise enhances the advanced technology of CT.

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CT vs. MRI Guide (PDF)


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