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64-Slice CT Scan

CT scannerLike a traditional computed tomography (CT) scan, our 64-slice CT scan combines a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles, and then uses a computer to reconstruct the “slices” to produce actual pictures. These slices can be as thin as a half a millimeter, so a 64-slice offers more image detail than ever before with earlier scans of a lower number, meaning your doctor gets the best information when making your diagnosis.

Why a 64-Slice CT Scan?

This type of diagnostic imaging is recommended when soft tissue – such as internal organs – must be evaluated. The 64-slice CT scan is able to give your physician a better view of the size, shape and position of soft tissue structures than if simply using a regular X-ray. These types of CT scans also help identify tumors and cysts, as well as diseases of the liver, lungs, coronary arteries and other organs.

Capturing images of the heart has been greatly enhanced by the use of 64-Slice CT scanning. Because the heart is continually moving and constantly changing in size and shape, it is often difficult to capture an accurate image of it. This level of CT scanner is so fast that it can create an image of the heart and coronary vessels in fewer than five seconds – essentially between each contraction – without causing blurring of the image. This is something other scanners can’t do.

How to Prepare for Your CT Scan

Preparation for a CT scan depends upon which part of your body is being scanned. You may be asked to remove your clothing and wear a hospital gown and you will need to remove any metal objects, such as jewelry, that might interfere with results.

In order to highlight the areas of your body being scanned, a contrast material may be needed. This material simply appears white on the images to emphasize blood vessels, bowel or other structures. You may be asked to drink the contrast, receive it through an injection, or rectally; this depends on what area of the body is being scanned. You may also be required to fast for a period of time before your procedure begins.

Your physician will go over your procedure, along with the risks and preparation requirements in more detail when the test is ordered. If you have any questions or concerns about the procedure, it is important you discuss them with your doctor. It is also important to discuss with your physician any allergies or medications you are taking before undergoing the exam.

During Your CT Scan

During your test, you will lie on a narrow table that slides into a doughnut-shaped hole called the gantry. Straps and pillows may be used to help you stay in position. As the X-ray tube rotates around your body, the table will slowly move through the gantry. While the table is moving, you may be asked to hold your breath to avoid capturing blurry images. You may also hear clicking and whirring noises as each rotation yields several images of slices of your body; those noises are very normal.

There is no pain involved during this procedure, but there are a few risks. Women who are pregnant or who may be pregnant should not have this procedure done, as it can be harmful to the baby. You will also be exposed to more radiation than a normal X-ray, and you may have a reaction to the contrast material, if you were required to take some.

The scanning only takes seconds, but the total time of this procedure can vary, depending on the test. If you have questions, please discuss them with your physician. Our radiology department technicians can also help answer your questions and can be reached by calling (740) 623-4132. The radiology department is located on the first floor of the hospital at 1460 Orange St.