Computed Tomography

What Is CT?

CT, or Computed Tomography, uses x-rays and computer technology to image the body. Traditional x-rays show only the outlines of bones and organs, while CT shows much more detail. It can create cross-sectional images, as well as a three-dimensional, computerized images by combining narrow-slice views of the area being scanned. Because it can show very detailed anatomical pictures from all angles, physicians use CT to diagnose and treat many different diseases.

Specialty CTs

Many advanced and specialty procedures can be performed on our multi-detector CT scanners. Chattanooga Imaging has always been on the leading edge of technology. In an effort to continue that tradition Chattanooga Imaging offers you the latest in CT technology, the GE 64 Slice Lightspeed VCT.

  • CT Angiogram: Uses CT and intravenous contrast to view arteries in a particular area of the body, such as aneurysms, blockages, or blood clots in vessels of the brain, chest, or abdomen.
  • CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy): A virtually non-invasive study that uses CT to look for polyps or cancer in the colon. The radiologist will introduce air into the colon using a small catheter to inflate the bowel. During the scan, which usually takes from 15-30 minutes, you will be asked to lie motionless on your back. A series of pictures will be taken using the CT. You will then be asked to lie motionless on your stomach, so that a second series of pictures can be taken. All images will be viewed and analyzed by a 3D computer that lets the radiologist see the inside of your colon and determine whether there are any lesions or abnormalities. A report of any findings will be sent to your physician.
  • 5-Beat Cardiac Imaging: The ability to provide a comprehensive view of the heart and coronary arteries with sub-millimeter resolution in just 5 heartbeats.
  • Triple RuleOut™: The ability to help clinicians rule out (or in) three of the most life-threatening critical conditions associated with chest pain in one single scan – aortic dissection, pulmonary embolism and coronary artery disease.
  • Stroke WorkUp: The LightSpeed VCT offers the speed and resolution required for rapid examination of blood vessels in the brain (perfusion studies). This enables physicians to make a quick diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment while reducing the number of exams a patient may need to undergo.

What To Expect

The length of time a CT scan takes varies, depending on which specific area of the body is being scanned. During the scan you will be lying down on a table. The x-ray tube will rotate around the table, taking pictures from all angles. The images taken will then be sent to a radiologist for interpretation. The radiologist will want to compare these images to any previous studies you may have had, so please let us know if you have had any CT exams before. When the radiologist is finished interpreting your scan, a full report will be sent to your physician.

Patient Preparation

Preparation for a CT scan is different from one exam to another, depending on what area of the body is being imaged. For some scans, for example, you’ll be asked to drink an oral contrast agent beforehand; for others, you might receive an injection of intravenous contrast through a vein in your arm. Others require no contrast at all. Before you come in for your CT, our staff will give you specific instructions for your exam.

Preparation required for:

  • AbdomenChest/Pelvis/Head with and without contrast: Nothing to eat or drink for four hours before your scan.
  • Angiogram: Nothing to eat or drink for four hours before your exam.
  • Colonography: A bowel preparation to clean the colon before the test is required to ensure a successful exam. Our staff will give you precise instructions when your test is scheduled.