CT scan was invented about 70 years back and has become one of the important diagnostic tools for physicians and emergency departments. The imaging technique of CT scan has undergone many transformations in terms of technology, dimensional view, clarity & quality of image, scan time, image data processing, etc. Today, CT scan not only captures the image of part of the body but also shows the flow of fluid in tissues/organs in-live; supporting clinicians in diagnosis, evaluation of internal trauma, planning surgical radiation treatment, and monitoring outcome of cancer treatment.
Basically, CT scan means a combination of a series of X rays processed to form a 2 or 3-dimensional image of a scanned part of the body with the help of software. The CT scan machine consists of a doughnut-shaped part with a central tunnel containing X-ray machine and a sliding patient table in the centre. The X-ray rotates 360 degrees around the patient and captures a series of images from different angles. The higher the density of the scanned body part, the whiter is its image as less amount of rays absorbed by that scanned body part; for example, bones will appear white while the heart/liver or any other soft tissue will be in different shades of grey and air is black. For capturing a high-quality image of soft tissue – blood vessels, digestive tract, liver/gall bladder, abdomen, urinary tract, etc. contrast material is either injected/consumed or inserted which enhances the appearance of blood vessels, intestine, or other air-filled spaces. Similar to the sliced loaf of bread, each cross-sectional image of CT scan also called a slice is stocked and processed to form a detailed view of the body part.
Our centre for CT scan in Kannur has a compact machine that offers reliability, high image quality, and effective productivity in terms of operational management. It delivers the speed, power, and resolution required for all types of routine CT applications with options of 2 D or 3-dimensional imaging and timely reporting.
CT scanning recommendation in case of –
- Diagnosis of infection – lung/appendix/ recurrent UTI/ Brain and spinal cord diseases Evaluation of internal injury – tissue damage/fracture/ bleeding
- Identification or evaluation of disorder – anomalies/ structural change
- Evaluation of masses/tumor including cancer
- Emergency – stroke
- Monitoring of treatment effectiveness – cancer/heart disease
- Guiding the biopsy/ surgical procedures
In the paediatric age group, CT scanning is recommended for the evaluation of –
- Infection – appendicitis, pneumonia
- Tumours – nerves/kidney
- Severe injury
- Congenital malformation – kidney, heart, blood vessels
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Benefits with CT scan
- Fast, painless, and non-invasive low-cost imaging method
- Imaging of soft tissues, bone, and blood vessels can be done in one go.
- Revelation of internal bleeding or injuries with accuracy
- Real-time imaging supports in the evaluation of the severity of heart diseases, stroke
- Can guide the procedures – biopsy/aspirations/surgery of abdomen/lungs/bones/pelvis
- Minor body movements during scanning do not affect the image quality
Safety of CT Scanning
Generally, CT scans are safe and with current machines with advanced technology, quality images are captured with low dose radiation and considering all protocol-based safety aspects. The medical team informs the details and all concerns with the patient.
Preparation for CT scan:
Depending upon the type of CT scan advised, the patient will be given instructions in preparation for scanning.
- Avoid consumption of food/liquid 3-4 hours prior to scanning
- Wear loose clothes or need to change to a hospital gown. So, it is advised to leave back all valuables and jewellery at home
- Need to remove any metal related items and inform the technician or medical team about any implants, body piercing, hearing aid, denture/dental implants
- Anti-Anxiety medication is prescribed to ease the claustrophobic feeling before scanning
- In case of soft tissue scanning, contrast material will be given to the patient either as injection or insertion for capturing quality images
CT scan Services at our Centre in Kannur
Total Body CT scan (TBCT)
People with high risk or a family history of coronary heart disease or cancer or arthritis etc are recommended for a total body CT scan to get a snapshot of the main body parts like the heart, lungs and abdomen. The benefit lies in the early detection of any prevailing silent clinical condition that can be treated and life can be saved.
Factors influencing TBCT:
- Family history of diabetes/abdominal aneurysm/coronary heart disease/arthritis/high cholesterol
- Aged above 45 years and overweight/smoking for over 10 years
- Inactive lifestyle and high-risk
- Possibility of abdominal or pelvic disease
Revelation with TBCT:
- Lungs: nodules
- Heart: blockade of plaque in arteries/aortic aneurysms
- Abdomen/pelvis area: enlarged liver/spleen, cyst or abnormal masses in abdomen/pelvis, enlarged lymph nodes, kidney stones, abdominal aneurysm
Chest CT scan:
Chest CT scan becomes an important conclusive diagnostic tool for certain infective diseases or health conditions of lung/pleura/heart/large blood vessels/vertebrae that are present in the chest. It also helps in assessing any damage due to accident or chest injury cases. It also helps in the diagnosis of lung disorders like –
- Diffuse interstitial lung disease
- Old/new pneumonia
CT Urography is a proven diagnostic technique for evaluating urinary tract ((ureter, urinary bladder, kidney) issues. The patient undergoing scanning is given an intravenous injection of contrast material for capturing quality scan images. This scanning helps in the evaluation of –
- Recurrent UTI
- Cause for blood in the urine
- Pain while passing urine
- Kidney/urinary bladder stone
- Urinary tract cancer
- Abnormalities in urinary tract structures
Musculoskeletal system consists of bones, muscles, joints and ligaments which get affected either by fracture, wrong posture, strain/sprain or injury. The 2 or 3-dimensional image enables specialists for quick and accurate diagnoses of conditions.
Evaluation of –
- Internal bleeding
- Fracture/lesion/damage to bone
- Muscle damage – sprain/strain
- Blood clots/infection/tumour
CT scan of bone is recommended for diagnosis of –
- Infection/cancer of the bone
- Paget’s disease
CT scan for muscle is recommended for diagnosis of –
- Strain/sprain/dystrophy of muscle
Image perception and depth make a huge difference in clinical condition understanding. The latest multi-slice scanner with integrated 3 D reconstruction software is used for rendering and processing the large stack of image slices which provides a bird’s-eye view of the clinical condition for external and internal part analysis. Some of the benefits of 3 Imaging are as follows –
- Actual representation of the anatomical/structure of body part
- Characterization of disease
- Diagnostic measurements like volume, size etc. and better view with possibility of zoom-up
- Better understanding of the connections between different parts of the body and the prevailing complication
Every speciality is using 3D imaging which provides a life-like view, some examples are Vascular surgeons for aneurysms, gastroenterologists for colon, Cardiologists for a blockage in blood vessels, and orthopaedics for fracture & joint conditions, and neurosurgeons for the spine.
GE Multi-Slice –BRIVO CT at our Centre:
Everyone is concerned with safety-related radiation dose, waiting period, and result outcome. GE’s Multi-Slice –BRIVO CT is a state-of-the-art scanning machine integrated with various latest technologies that enhance the image quality, image data processing, reduce the dose for scanning, artificial intelligence, etc. which addresses the concern.
- Offers higher patient flow capacity due to shorter scan time, faster machine cooling
- Analytical software that offers data comparison in cases of vascular anatomy & pathology, changes in organ/tumour over a period of time through image intensity parameter
- Special filters that provide clear visualization of brain, tumour and paediatric cases without any resolution compromise