CT or CAT Scan, CTA (CT Angiography)
At Teaneck Radiology Center, we have a GE 16 slice multidetector scanner, which creates clear, highly detailed images of the body and brain. Images are reconstructed in all tissue planes to help our radiologists accurately see and interpret subtle finding.
What is Computed Tomography?
CT (computed tomography), also called a CAT scan, uses x-ray and and sophisticated computer equipment to produce cross-sectional images of all body parts- such as the brain, spine, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines. These ultrathin images can then be further manipulated to produce images that allow us to see the human body in ways that have never been seen before. CT imaging is useful because it can show several types of tissue, such as lung, bone, and soft tissues in tremendous detail. CT angiography is performed to evaluate the arteries of the body.
What are some common uses of CT?
- Evaluating causes of chest and abdominal symptoms.
- Diagnosing neurological problems, particularly for those patients who cannot have an MRI exam.
- Diagnosing cancer.
- Diagnosing bone abnormalities.
- Diagnosing vascular issues.
- Diagnosing head, neck and sinus problems.
How should I prepare for a CAT scan?
- When you call to schedule an appointment, our staff will let you know what kind of preparation is needed. If you are having a CAT scan of your abdomen, you may be required to drink a special contrast drink, which outlines your intestines. For many exams, you may be told that you need an injection of iodine in your vein, which highlights vascular structures.
- You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for one or more hours, as directed by our office, before the exam.
- Women should inform their doctor or x-ray tech if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
What should I expect during this exam?
A CT examination usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.
- The technologist positions you on the CT table. The table will move slowly into the CT scanner opening. Depending on the area of the body being examined, the increments of movement may be very small and almost undetectable, or large enough to feel the motion.
- To enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels, use of different contrast materials may be required. Depending on the type of examination, contrast material may be injected through an IV or swallowed.
Before administering the contrast material, you will be asked:
- If you have any allergies, especially to medications or iodine. If you do have such a history, we may give you a prescription for medication to take before the exam, which can decrease the chance of an allergic reaction.
- Whether you have a history of diabetes, asthma, kidney problems, heart or thyroid conditions. These conditions may indicate a higher risk of reaction to the contrast material or potential problems eliminating the material from the patient's system after the exam.
- If you take the medication Metformin for diabetes, we will tell you to stop taking the medication for 48 hours after your dye injection.
Following the dye injection you may experience:
- Flushed or have a metallic taste in your mouth. These are common reactions which disappear in a minute or two.
- A mild itching sensation. If the itching persists or is accompanied by hives, it can be easily treated with medication.
- In very rare cases, you may experience shortness of breath or swelling in the throat or other parts of the body. These can be indications of a more serious reaction to the contrast material. Your technologist should be notified immediately.
- You will be alone in the room during your scan. However our technologist can see, hear and speak with you at all times.
Download Patient Handouts
Abdomen and Pelvis