A Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) scan is a diagnostic technique which uses computer-processed images to create a cross-sectional image to capture bone, soft tissues, and blood vessels all at once. The patient will lie on an examination tables that slides into the scanner; the x-ray tube will then rotate around the patient to take several image slices from different angles which can be put together and processed on the computer to create a 3-dimensional image. CT scan may be done with and without contrast. Contrast is a substance or medicine that helps to capture clearer image. Before the scan, the patient may be given contrast either through a vein or by drinking it. This is so that desired body parts will be enhanced in the cross-sectional image. If you have allergic reaction to contrast agent, you may be given medication to reduce the allergic reaction. Because a CT scan is non-invasive, it is a quick and painless procedure. The doctor might ask for a CT scan if they suspect a problem that cannot be detected through a normal physical examination. As CT scans provide detailed images of all types of tissue (especially hard tissue), doctors might use it to diagnose heart disease, cancer, internal damage (due to trauma), and musculoskeletal disorders. Its versatility and convenience makes CT imaging a reliable diagnostic tool.
A Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) is an examination that uses x-rays to visualize the blood flow in arterial and venous vessels from all over the body including arteries serving the brain to those bringing blood to the lungs, kidneys, and arms and legs. CT combines the use of x-rays with computerized analysis of the images to produce a three-dimensional picture of the area being studied. The contrast material is injected intravenously before the scan. Because the contrast dye will be traveling through the patient’s blood vessels while the scan is being completed, the images produced will show blood flow. Owensboro Heart and Vascular can then use this image to more accurately diagnose and design a treatment plan to fit your unique needs. The physician can diagnose blood vessel related diseases such as aneurysms and congenital cardiovascular disease. CTAs can also help detect angiogenesis and blockages.