CT neck: what the survey shows?


CT and MRI are completely different diagnostic tests. They are preparing the patient, the procedure, the basic principles of scan images, but they have a common goal — the detection of pathological changes in internal organs, particularly the neck.

CT diagnosis for certain parts of the human body and certain diseases are considered more informative compared to magnetic resonance imaging. Due to the information received during a CT scan, the doctor can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the necessary treatment to the patient.

Computed tomography was used in medicine before the MRI. Preparation for the procedure is simple and does not require much effort. The principle of scan neck CT is performed using x-rays, which help detect even small changes in the tissues. They affect the entire thickness of the investigated region of the throat, but in layers. The unit constantly changes the energy of the directed beam, which collides with tissues of different density (the structure). Therefore, the image of the organs of the neck are obtained layer by layer. On pictures internal organs of the throat have blurred boundaries, and the spine is clear so that you can better see the pathological changes of the bones. This is due to the x-rays which visualize more dense structure of the tissue.

MRI is not considered to be less informative compared to CT, but still it is two different diagnosis. MRI of the neck does not require any careful preparation. The MRI scans of the organs of the throat due to nuclear magnetic resonance. Pulsing magnetic waves in a constant magnetic field of high tension, are repelled from the hydrogen atoms, which allows us to study the chemical structure of soft tissues. The photos show clear boundaries of the internal organs of the neck. MRI uninformative for the determination of pathological changes in the bones. For example, total or partial fusion of the vertebrae as a result of spondylosis. Diagnosis MRI is better to assign for the study of soft tissues.

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Important! MRI and CT diagnostics, which differ from each other by many factors. Therefore, for certain diseases of the neck region is assigned to one of these surveys.

The study of the thyroid gland

The thyroid is the largest gland in the human body. The location is in the anterior side of the neck, in the throat. The thyroid gland has two lateral lobes connected by isthmus (sometimes absent). Shell capsule — the fibrous, outer. Between them is a slit-like space, composed of loose fatty tissue. The glandular tissue is permeated with blood vessels, nerves, and its loops are the follicles. Responsible for the production of thyroxine, calcitonin, triiodothyronine, thyrocalcitonin.

Computed tomography helps to assess the structure of the gland, and also shows the presence of nodes pathological origin. If necessary, allows for targeted biopsy of the pathological site. Often, the above examination is administered to patients with a history of a different kind of cyst, adenoma with colloid proliferative goiter and other. In General, diagnostic data is not inferior to the information content of an MRI or an ultrasound.

Examination of the larynx and trachea

The larynx is composed of nine hyaline cartilages, movably connected to each other. They are connected by ligaments, joints, membranes. The throat inside is covered by a mucous tissue. The organ has three divisions: upper, middle, lower.

The main purpose of the larynx is air circulation. Inside of this body are situated the vocal cords. With the passage of air through them, it makes a sound. The sound of the voice depends on the size and volume of the larynx, and the degree of tension, humidity, elasticity of the vocal cords.

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The trachea is located below the larynx and is its continuation. Has a tubular shape. Consists of mucosa and the basics; fibrous, muscular, cartilage; covered with connective tissue membranes. Performs the function of a circulation of air between environment and lungs.

Computed tomography shows changes in the result of inflammatory processes (laryngitis), stenosis of various origins, paralysis, injuries of the larynx and trachea in the surveyed region in the projection of the throat. Thanks to the layered images of the tissues in the neck, this method of research is considered informative for detecting abnormalities of the pharynx, the oropharynx, larynx, trachea. For example, in the congenital diaphragm of the larynx, tracheomalacia. The images will allow the doctor to deliver error-free diagnosis and prescribe effective medication, or surgical treatment.

Examination of the lymph nodes in the neck

Lymph nodes in the anterior region of the neck, the projection of the throat: the front of the neck, lateral, deep cervical, retropharyngeal. Lymph nodes consist of brain, the cortical substance. Lymph nodes covered by a capsule. Produce lymph to the venous stream to maintain water balance in body tissues.

CT shows pathological changes of the soft tissues of the lymph nodes in the presence of systemic inflammatory processes, neoplasms, accompanied by abnormalities in the lymphoid tissue. For example, suppurative inflammation in the maxillofacial area, the formation of abscesses, notechnical. CT scan is done immediately before surgery and after, to monitor the dynamics of the disease in the period of treatment and rehabilitation.

Angiography of blood vessels of the throat

Is subject to injuries of the head and neck, frequent migraine attacks without an identified etiology, the presence of a large number of miliary aneurysms, signs of dissection of the arteries and other pathological abnormalities. This type of diagnosis is performed with intravenous contrast, which contains iodine.

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Angiography helps to better identify thrombosis, malignant and benign tumors, atherosclerosis, vasculitis, aneurysms, and malformations of the vessels of the neck.

Examination of the cervical spine

Imaging aims to identify pathological changes in the spinal cord, vertebrae, vertebral canal. The doctor prescribes diagnosis after injuries, in the presence of headaches, periodic fainting, rheumatic lesions, to clarify the localization of the pathological focus before the operation, monitoring of the rehabilitation period.

CT allows high accuracy to determine fractures, instability, cracks in the vertebrae; neoplasm, metastasis in the cervical spine; osteoporosis, spondilez, low back pain; myelopathy of the spinal cord and other diseases.

Preparation for a CT examination

The main requirements of preparation before the beginning of the survey:

  • CT study with radiopaque substance. Don’t eat before the procedure, it is best for 3 or more hours. You can drink water during the hour prior to diagnosis. To inform the doctor about allergies to any medications, especially the extracellular radiopaque substances, the atoms of which contains iodine.
  • Imaging of internal organs and soft tissues of the throat without contrast agent does not require special training.

Please note! Some patients are contraindicated to do a CT scan. This group includes pregnant women, patients with allergies from iodine-containing medications or products with renal insufficiency, a severe form of gipertireoze.