AR Introduces the Latest in CT Technology
Somotom Definition AS+ 128 Slice CT Scanner
If you have been given an appointment for a computed tomography (CT) scan at Advanced Radiology you may have many questions. “What can I expect before, during and after a CT scan?” First and foremost, a CT scan is fast, straightforward and painless. Advanced Radiology of Columbia has the most advanced, state-of- the-art CT scanner in Columbia and third to be installed in the nation, the Somotom Definition AS+ 128 slice CT scanner.
- About CT Scan
- About the Procedure
- Cardiac CTA
What is CT?
CT is a radiological modality which has been used since 1974 to visualize certain regions of your body slice by slice. Think of your body as a loaf of bread and the CT machine takes pictures in slices, and then spreads them out allowing a radiologist to look at the details of your organs and boney structures in great detail.
What can CT evaluate?
- Detecting strokes, head injuries , herniated discs, abscesses
- Locating fractures
- Diagnosing changes in various organs
- Examination of the heart and of the coronary vessels
- Early Diagnosing of lung and abdominal cancer
NEW ADVANTAGES OF CT
- With the aid of CT, radiologists are now able to look into the coronary arteries with out having to introduce a catheter (using arteriogram). This is minimally-invasive with just the use of an IV.
- CT allows true-to-detail three dimensional images of the inside of thee heart and other parts of the body.
What happens during a regular CT exam?
During the examination you will be lying on a comfortable table (usually on your back). This table will then slowly move you through the opening of the CT Scanner called the gantry. (It looks like a big donut.) All you need to do is pay attention to the instructions of the Ct personnel who may ask you to briefly hold your breath or not to move certain regions of your body.
You will not feel the acquisition of CT images at all; you will only hear a low whirring noise. The patient table will move slightly during the entire examination
Why is a contrast medium used?
Depending on the examination, a contrast medium may be administered to aid in evaluation of the area of interest. Most people tolerate the contrast medium without any problems and merely feel flushed for a moment.
Since the contrast medium may cause an allergic reaction in some people, you will complete a questionnaire upon arrival at the center. You will be asked if you have ever hade Asthma, HTN, CHF, if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have ever had a reaction to shellfish. You will also be asked if you have ever had a reaction to contrast before or a delayed reaction. If you are over 60 or diabetic you will need BUN and Creatinin levels, which evaluates kidney function. We can test for these values very quickly at the center. Should you feel any discomfort during thee exam you should communicate that to the technologist as they can communicate with you throughout the exam.
How is the CT Image or CT scan Performed?
While you are in the gantry, the CT Scanner is taking extremely detailed cross-sectional images of your body. Data is acquired; the computer generates the final images. These are the images the radiologists at Advanced Radiology review visualizing and then diagnosing the presence or absence of disease.
The new Somotom Definition AS+ significantly reduces your exposure to radiation which has been a concern to referring physicians across the nation. The Somotom Definition AS+ 129 slice CT scanner automatically evaluates body size, density, the area to be scanned and adjusts doses for that particular patient throughout the scan. The scanner uses Adaptive Dose Shield which ensures that only the dose that is clinically relevant to the patient is applied.
How long does a CT scan take?
There is no general answer to this question. The duration of a CT examination depends on which body regions are scanned. Although with the 128 slice Somotom Definition AS+, most exams take 5-10 minutes. If a contrast medium is used, the examination will take longer simply for set up. The technologist places an IV in your arm through which the contrast medium is administered.
How Should You Prepare for the Exam?
The schedulers at Advanced Radiology will provide you with guidance when you are scheduled. Depending on the type of CT ordered you may have very little preparation. If the CT is scheduled with contrast you may be asked to drink an oral contrast agent known as C-Scan.
Cardiac CT Angiography (CCTA)
Advanced Radiology specializes in Minimally-Invasive Cardiac CT Angiography (CCTA) using the most advanced CT technology available in the United States, the Somatom Definition AS+ 128-Slice CT.
To view more information on how the Cardiac CTA helps saves lives visit these local media outlets for a story on Advanced Radiology:
- Unprecedented Image Quality & Detail
- Fastest Single Source CT Imaging
- Multislice CT Coronary Angiography
- Rule Out Coronary Stenosis
- Evaluate Bypass Grafts & Coronary Stents
- Premier diagnostic, primary way to see soft and calcified coronary artery plaque
- Multiphase, multi-planar imaging
- Lower radiation algorithm than other scanners
If you are over fifty and have one or more of the following risk factors,
ask your doctor about CCTA:
- High Blood Pressure
- Family History
- High Cholesterol
What is the cost and is it covered by Insurance?
Coronary CTA is reimbursed by Medicare. The self pay price for this procedure is $1100.00.
Is there any preparation for the CCTA?
You will need a driver to bring you to your appointment and drive you home. Patients are asked to eliminate caffeine 24 hrs prior to the examination. If a patient's heart rate is too high, oral or intravenous beta blockers will be administered. Sublingual nitroglycerin is also administered if not contraindicated prior to the exam to optimize visualization of the small coronary vessels.