CT (computed tomography) of the chest
CT computed tomography of the chest is a modern method of examination, allowing to estimate the status of the selected structures for a short time by obtaining highly accurate three-dimensional images. The study is based on a physical property of x-rays to bounce from human tissues depending on their density. CT scan of the chest shows the status of the following structures:
- The heart and pericardium.
- Lungs and bronchi.
- Vessels and nerve trunks, passing in this area.
- Of the esophagus.
Indications and contraindications to tomography
Computed tomography of the chest allows the physician to evaluate the relative positions of the bodies, their position relative to the spine, as well as to detect many diseases at an early stage of development. Identify the main indications for CT of the chest:
List of diseases that can be diagnosed using computed tomography rather long. By obtaining highly accurate three-dimensional images, the doctor can identify the disease at preclinical stages, before the appearance of the first symptoms of the disease.
In Oncology, the indispensable method for the diagnosis of tumors: the images show even the smallest of education, and the introduction of a contrast agent helps to better explore the boundaries of their distribution and structure. Chest CT often diagnose fluid accumulation in the pleural cavity, cracked ribs and fractures of the spine, pathology of the large vessels of the heart. Unlike MRI, CT clearly visualizes the bone structure.
Before computed tomography scan of the chest no need for special training.
How is the scanning?
When examining the chest, the patient lies on a special mobile couch in the supine position. Around it is the main part of the MRI scanner, containing the x-ray tube. During the procedure the machine rotates around the couch, scanning the patient along the rim – this allows us to obtain three-dimensional image. The scan lasts about 15-20 minutes, when using a contrast agent – a half-hour. During this time the patient should remain immobile. You can pre-prepare comfortable clothes that will not cause patient discomfort, and if you want to ask a specific set of disposable clothing. As with MRI before the procedure it is important to pull out of the pockets of cell phone – the device can compromise its performance.
During scanning, the doctor out of the office into the next room, where monitors the progress of the procedure. If you have any questions the patient can contact him via special selector – it is always enabled. After the scan, the specialist will need time to analyse the images, then the conclusion is given to the patient often results can be picked up after 1-2 hours.
If computed tomography with contrast is carried out in lactating women, it is recommended to stop breastfeeding for 48 hours. The contrast permeates into the milk, making it unfit for consumption.
The advantages of computed tomography over other methods
- Non-invasive method. To assess the state of the chest there is no need to carry out surgical intervention, the method is comfortable and very accurate.
- It shows all the structures and tissues – this allows you to scan the entire area as a whole, there is no need to do additional scanning.
- You can set the desired angle, to adjust the amount of cut plane studies. In conventional ultrasound, this is not possible.
- Quick result. An important factor in case of emergencies.
- In contrast to MRI, CT is less sensitive to accidental movements of the patient do not need to prepare for the examination.
- Early CT diagnosis of pathological conditions significantly reduces morbidity and allows the doctor to choose an effective treatment plan.
- A comfortable study for the patient – he does not feel any pain.
Despite the long list of benefits, a CT scan should not be done often – in contrast to MRI, which uses an electromagnetic field, x-ray radiation during CT quite harmful, often the diagnosis is possible by means of cheaper and simple methods of examination. In that case, if you need dynamic observation of the patient, the method of choice is MRI in this case there is increased stress on the body ionizing radiation. There is no need to choose survey method – this question is better to trust your doctor.