CT Imaging

CT Imaging


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.

CT Scan

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. 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. 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. Because 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.

Calcium Score

A calcium score checks for the buildup of calcium or plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart. This test is used to check for the early stages of heart disease and determine the severity.

Full Body Scan

The full body scan is a quick and painless scan of the torso – excluding the head and lower extremities – to screen the most important organs (unlike a normal CT scan which only examines desired parts of the body). A CT scanner is used for this procedure so much of the preparation and methods are the same. To prepare for the scan, the patient will be asked to drink a contrast liquid one hour prior to the scan. The scan itself only takes a few minutes and the patient remains fully clothed. The full body scan can detect such things as heart disease (calcified plaque built up in the coronary arteries); tumors in the lungs, ovaries, liver or other organs of the body which may be cancerous; kidney stones, cysts, and many other abnormalities. Used mainly as a preventative procedure, a full body scan can detect early-stage cancer and heart disease, sometimes before patients have even shown symptoms.

Virtual Colonoscopy

A virtual colonoscopy (also known as VC or CT colonography) is an imaging procedure which uses x-rays and computers to produce 2 and 3-dimensional images of the colon and the rectum. Prior to the scan, the bowels need to prepared; then, the patient will lie on an examination table as the CT scanner takes cross-sectional images of the colon to produce a 3-dimensional image. In comparison to a normal colonoscopy, a VC is much less invasive: in a regular colonoscopy, the physician inserts a tube with a camera attached to the end into the colon. The procedure is used to diagnose colon and bowel disease, including polyps, diverticulitis and cancer. If patients report symptoms such as abdominal pain, irregular bowel habits, and bleeding from the rectum, a physician will order a VC. A VC can detect polyps and irritated tissue as well.