CAT Scan

A CT (computerized tomography) or CAT scan (computerized axial tomography) is a special X-ray that scans an area one layer (slice) at a time. GFH now provides patients in the region access to a 64-slice CT scanner. This state-of-the-art machine is providing radiologists and referring physicians with the highest quality imaging.

Using ionizing radiation to acquire cross-sectional views of the body, a radiologist is able to look inside the body to see healthy and diseased tissues as well as some blood vessels.

The CT scanner has a circular opening that your body travels through. Depending on the procedure your physician orders, you may be given an injection of an iodine-based contrast (X-ray dye) in your arm. You may also be instructed to drink a contrast agent before your exam, which would demonstrate your gastrointestinal system (stomach, small bowel, and large bowel).

For additional information on this procedure, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org

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CAT Scan Preparations

Abdomincal CAT Scans

Common Names:

  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Kidney
  • Bowel

Area of Evaluation:

  • Content of abdomen located from the base of the lungs to the crest of the pelvis.

Preparation:

  • All patients scheduled for examination will be on a full liquid diet after midnight until completion of the study.
  • All patients scheduled for this exam will require an ingestion of a solution of dilute contrast material. This will be administered at specified times prior to the examination. The contrast material will be delivered to the floor by CT personnel in 2 paper cups with lids. All contrast material will be labeled with the patient's name, room number, date, concentration, and time of administration. It is imperative that the patient drink the solution at the time specified for each cup. Those patients unable to swallow will require installation of the contrast media via a nasogastric tube. The CT Department must be notified immediately if any patient has difficulty retaining the contrast solution, such as vomiting. Upon arrival to CT, the patient will need to drink an additional cup of contrast agent prior to actual scanning.

Exam Time:

  • 20 – 45 minutes

When Ordering Exams:

  • Abdomen CT's ordered without contrast will NOT receive IV contrast, but will receive oral contrast. If the ordering physician would like the exam without oral contrast, this must be specified in comments. Lack of oral contrast will result in a less then optimal abdominal scan.

Please Note:

  • If the pelvic content is also to be evaluated then a CT PELVIS is also recommended.
  • History of allergies is important for this exam.

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Abscess Drainage in CAT Scanning

Common Names:

  • Aspirations

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie on scanner table and the area of interest will be scanned and marked. Radiologist then performs the drainage using the CT scanner to guide him. Prior to exam, the Radiologist will explain the procedure to the patient and have the patient sign a consent form.

Preparation:

  • No bowel preparation the day before the examination unless the patient has had a barium examination within the last 24 – 48 hours.
    • If a bowel prep is needed, use Ann Arbor prep
  • Full liquid diet after midnight until completion of the study.

Exam Time:

  • 30 minutes – 1 ? hours

Please Note:

  • Oral contrast is given only when specifically indicated by Radiologist
  • A coagulation profile test must be completed with results charted prior to doing the study.
  • The Radiologist may leave aspiration tubing in place after the examination. If so, please refer to the patient's chart for follow-up orders.

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Biopsies Done in CAT Scanning

Common Names:

  • BX

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie on scanner table and the area of interest will be scanned and marked. The Radiologist then performs the biopsy using the CT scanner to guide him. Prior to the exam, the Radiologist will explain the procedure to the patient and have the patient sign a consent form.

Preparation:

  • No bowel preparation the day before the examination unless the patient has had a barium examination within the last 24 – 48 hours.
    • If a bowel prep is needed, use Ann Arbor prep.
  • Full liquid diet after midnight until completion of the study.

Exam Time:

  • 30 minutes – 1 ? hours

Please Note:

  • Oral contrast is given only when specifically indicated by the Radiologist.
  • A coagulation profile test must be completed with results charted prior to doing the study.

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Bone Studies In CAT Scanning

Common Names:

  • Dorsal Spine
  • Cervical Spine
  • Hips, Extremities
  • Arms
  • Legs

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie flat on the scanner table and the area of interest will be scanned. The patient must be able to lie still for entire exam.

Preparation:

  • No preparation is necessary.

Exam Time:

  • 15 – 30 minutes

Please Note:

  • Metal immobilization devices must be removed.

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Chest CAT Scan

Common Names:

  • Mediastinum

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie flat on the scanner table and the area of interest (chest area) will be scanned. The scan (pictures taken) will be done on the patient's inspiration. Depending on the patient's history, the patient may be injected with IV contrast for better visualization of mediastinum.

Preparation:

  • Full liquid diet.
  • No bowel preparation.

Exam Time:

  • 15 – 45 minutes

Please Note:

  • IV Contrast is given only when specifically indicated by the Radiologist.

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Facial Bones CAT Scan

Common Names:

  • N/A

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie on scanner table and the area of interest will be scanned. Thin "slices" (pictures) will be taken in 2 different positions. The patient must be able to lie completely still during the exam.

Preparation:

  • For fracture, no preparation is necessary
  • For pathology of eyeball itself, a full liquid diet after midnight is required. Contrast injection may be needed.

Exam Time:

  • 30 minutes – 1 hour

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Head CAT Scan

Common Names:

  • Brain Cat Scanner

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie on the scanner table with their head braced in a head holder. Thin "slices" (pictures) will be taken before and after IV Contrast. The patient must be able to lie completely still during exam.

Preparation:

  • Full fluids before exam.
  • The patient must be on full fluids after midnight.
  • Breakfast should be held unless otherwise notified.
  • Lunch must be held for all patients scheduled who have not yet been scanned.

Exam Time:

  • 15 – 45 minutes

Please Note:

  • We must be aware of any allergies or if patient is on dialysis.

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Internal Auditory Canals CAT Scan

Common Names:

  • IAC
  • Temporal Bones

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie on the scanner table and the area of interest will be scanned. Thin "slices" (pictures) will be taken with the patient in supine and coronal positions.

Preparation:

  • No diet restrictions.
  • No preparations necessary.

Exam Time:

  • 30 – 45 minutes

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Mastoids CAT Scan

Common Names:

  • N/A

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie on the scanner table and area of interest will be scanned. Thin "slices" (pictures) will be taken with patient in supine and coronal positions.

Preparation:

  • No diet restrictions.
  • No preparations necessary.

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Neck CAT Scan

Common Names:

  • Larynx
  • Thyroid

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie on the scanner table and the area of interest will be scanned. Thin "slices" (pictures) will be taken. IV Contrast is injected. The patient must be able to lie completely still during the exam.

Preparation:

  • Full fluids before exam.
  • Patient must be on full fluids after midnight.
  • Breakfast should be held unless otherwise notified.
  • Lunch must be held for all patients scheduled who have not yet been scanned.

Exam Time:

  • 15 – 30 minutes

Please Note:

  • We must be aware of any allergies or if patient is on dialysis.

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Orbitus CAT Scan

Common Names:

  • N/A

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie on scanner table and the area of interest will be scanned. Thin "slices" (pictures) will be taken in 2 different positions. The patient must be able to lie completely still during the exam.

Preparation:

  • For fracture, no preparation is necessary
  • For pathology of eyeball itself, a full liquid diet after midnight is required. Contrast injection may be needed.

Exam Time:

  • 30 minutes – 1 hour

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Sinus CAT Scan

Common Names:

  • N/A

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie on the scanner table and the area of interest will be scanned. Thin "slices" (pictures) will be taken through sinuses in 2 positions. Images of all sinuses are obtained: ethmoid, sphenoid, maxillary and frontal.

Preparation:

  • If with IV Contrast, full fluids after midnight.

Exam Time:

  • 30 – 45 minutes

Please Note:

  • A Sinus CT is images of the sinus only, the brain is not completely shown.
  • Screening Sinuses (Limited Sinuses), patient will be prone and exam will last 5 - 10 minutes

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Spine CAT Scan

Common Names:

  • N/A

Brief Description of Exam:

  • The patient will lie flat on their back on the scanner table and area of interest will be scanned. Thin "slices" (pictures) will be taken.

Preparation:

  • No diet restrictions.
  • No bowel preparation the day before the exam unless the patient has had a barium exam within the last 24 – 48 hours.

Exam Time:

  • 15 – 45 minutes

Please Note:

  • The patient must be able to lie perfectly still, flat on their back for 15 - 45 minutes without moving. Thus, medicating the patient may be necessary for which CT will call the floor nurse.