To begin with CT Scan I want to know from you that have you ever noticed when you go to a photocopy shop there is a big machine ? It is nothing but a scanner which scans the documents you place under it and takes the pictures. Similarly in the laboratory or hospitals such machine is called as CT Scanning machine. One CT scan is equal to 200-250 x-rays in HD quality. Ct scan is painless and provides cross sectional view of patient anatomy in 3-D. Here we will be discussing ins & out of ct scan along with full form, features, procedure, machine and its cost etc.
What is CT Scan ?
It is an imaging technique through which we can take pictures of internal organs of body using x-rays. We can take pictures from various angles ( directions ). Sometimes we use a dye mostly iodine dye ( a coloring agent ) to contrast the picture for better quality.
Full form and meaning
It means Computed Tomography Scan. Tomography ? But what is it ? No problem I tell you. Tomography is the method in which we take internal organ’s pictures. And when we display these pictures on a computer screen it is called as computed. So CT scan is a computed tomographic scan.
There are two types of ct scan on the basis of image quality.
- Plain CT scan – No dye or coloring agent is used. Often used in bony injuries and structural normality.
- Contrast CT scan – Iodine dye is used to get better quality pictures. Often used ct angiography, ct cerebral angiography, ct coronary and peripheral angiography, CT abdomen etc.
Contrast CT Scan
Sometimes the doctor may give you iodine dye injection to get the better quality pictures. This dye can also be give orally. Suppose the doctor wants to see CT angiography ( angiography means blood vessels ) then he will give you the iodine dye injection into the vein. Similarly if he wants to see oesophagus ( food pipe ). He will give you the dye orally in contamination with water.
How to do the test ?
In this, the body goes inside the machine. After positioning the machine starts taking pictures from different angles moving in circular motion around the body. It clicks approximately 100 slices in one complete rotation in 3-D view. It takes only 20 minutes to complete the test.
What happens after taking pictures ?
Having taken images or slices, we read these x-rays. If there is dense organ, you find more white portion in picture ( eg- bones ). The whiteness that you see in the x-ray is known as radio opaque. That’s why we say bones are more radio opaque than other tissues.
How to do findings ?
For detection or Findings, we look at shadow of organs wheather they are normal in structure or abnormal. For example we look at shadows of Lungs, Heart, Breast in females, Hip Bone etc. So we diagnose the problem by shadow of the organ. Some findings you may check in ct scan are :
- Dark black findings – Accumulated water
- Whitish ( Grey ) – Blood, Pus
- White – Air ( around the lungs)
- White ( round in shape ) – Any cyst, Bone
When to go with ct scan ?
We go for it for the following reason.
- It is done when normal x-rays fails to diagnose the problem it is done for identify blood clotting, injury ,tumor ,brain tumor.
- Internal infection that is not getting heal
- Biopsy (taking samples from soft tissues)
- To study the blood vessels ( angiography )
- Checking the cyst in uterus as it may lead to infertility in females
- To check the tumor (benign and malignant)
- Bones problems (calcium cyst)
- To check the soft tissues (muscles, blood vessels, fat, lymph vessels, fibrous tissue)
Note – CT scan is not done in normal condition. It becomes must when problem persists for a long time in spite of following medications.
How do we actually check the CT scan
The machine clicks the images using x-rays we now when we get injury, the normal structure that destroyed. Similarly we compare the normal structure of particular organ with the images taken by CT scan. If there is no difference in structure. The patient has a mild injury. Which is not a big issue. vice versa can be a problem for patient.
But sometimes the problem is not with the structure. It may be due to unknown injury or infection. As you must have seen between two healthy person. One of them has good physical health but weak internally other is weak physically but strong internally.
Risk factors in CT scan.
Look CT scan uses x-rays to capture the pictures. And you know X-rays are very dangerous for skin and body. So if any patient undergoes for CT Scan once in a year or 6 month. It is not problematic. But too much exposure to the X-rays increases the chances of getting cancer. X-rays radiation is very injuries to health. A pregnant lady should not go with it because it may develop abnormality in foetus when the lady in her third trimester. Some people may feel discomfort with the dye. (Dye may damage to kidney). So a person with kidney disorder should not go with contrast CT Scan. Some patients may have allergy from dye. Allergic reaction may include.
- Skin rashes
A person should remove metal objects from the body while undergoing for CT scan. So that better image could be taken and images may not be blurry.
- Doctor may suggest you fasting for 6 hours before the scan if you are undergoing abdomen or pelvic scan or contrast.
- You may be suggested to stop diabetes medication in case of a cancer (PET) scan.
- He may suggest you to wear a Hospital gown and remove all metallic objects with you.
- If you feel vomiting after the scan you should contact your doctor.
- Avoid the test it in pregnancy.
|Organ||Price ( in INR )|
|CT Plain||1500 – 2000|
|CT Contrast||2500 – 3000|
|CT Abdomen Contrast||5000 – 6000|
|CT Chest||2000 – 2500|
|CT Brain||2500 – 3000|
|CT Lumbar||2500 – 2700|
|CT Nose||1300 – 1500|
|CT Spine||2000 – 2200|
|CT Anus||3500 – 4000|
|CT Orbits||2000 – 2500|
About the CT scan machine
Accordingly the x-rays are taken from different angles in slices 8 16 32 64 128 and converted into a 3-D image.
Where to use.
We use this machine to get a better quality pictures of bones. It is used to diagnose the problem associated with blood vessels and tumors (angiography)
CT Scan machine cost
By all means the price range varies between 1 crore to 3 crores per machine.
Cost of CT test
In truth the test cost range – Rs. 1500 – 600 depending on body parts.
What is a slice in CT scan.?
You must have heard about slice word whenever you visit to a CT Scan laboratory. Further what does it mean if a technician says we have an 8 slice machine or 16 32 64 128 etc. machine ? Above all It simply means the number of images taken per complete round. So 16 slice machine takes 16 slices of an organ in one complete rotation.
For example if you want to do CT scan of your brain and 1000 images are required to diagnose the problem. For this purpose if we go with 8 slice machine it will take. 1000÷8 = 125 rotations which is more time consuming machine then 128 slice. 1000÷128=7.8 (Approx 8 rotations).
Finally, A CT Scan is basically a 100 X-ray together from different angles in 3-D view. In addition to this it is done to check the structure and condition of Bony tissues. But for soft tissue and ligaments MRI is the best one technique. Further it gives more accurate view and structure of organ
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