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CT of the chest

What is CT?

CT stands for Computed Tomography. CT images are formed by the same type of x-rays by plain radiographs. CT technique differs from the X-ray by the use of a more sophisticated method for registering jets than usual film, and a computer is used to translate the data into a picture. X-ray sources and the parts that capture the rays, X-rays receivers or detectors, moving around the area being imaged, enabling the production cross section and three dimensions. The advantage of this method is that it can detect very small changes and that it can differentiate soft tissue with very similar densities.

CT images are black and white. The organs are represented in shades of gray. Tissues with low density, for example. air-filled cavities appear as dark or black sections. Tissues with higher density appear in lighter shades. The higher the density, the lighter. Bone produced white.

Radiation burden is larger than most conventional X-ray, but you weigh this up against the diagnostic yield, which is usually larger - you can simply more information from the images.

CT of the chest
Since CT can distinguish between different internal organ, so-called soft tissue, then CT of the chest (thorax) provide detailed cross-sectional images and three-dimensional images of the lungs, bronchi (air tubes) pleura (pleura), structures in the central part of the chest (mediastinum), the heart . The images appear in different shades of gray. The lighter the shade, the higher the density tissue or structure. Bone produced white, while air is made black. Image quality can be improved by concomitant administration of contrast injection.

When taken CT of the chest?
CT of the chest cavity is used primarily in the study of conditions in which other diagnostic methods are insufficient. Especially for the detection of tumors and inflammation in the lungs and bronchi, or blood clots in the pulmonary arteries.


CT can be performed in two different ways: As a series of single images or as a continuous image recording by so-called spiral CT.

Series of individual images
Chest with chest depicted in many horizontal slices, called slices. One and one cross-sectional image is captured. While traditional X-rays provide a "flat" two-dimensional image in which organ in the anterior part of the body is the body further back, manufactures CT images without ghosting bodies of underlying organs. The processing of the images in a computer can put the slices together in a three-dimensional image. Supplemented with contrast injection, tumors and inflammatory diseases often produced better through making visible blood supply.

Spiral CT
Spiral CT is a new type of CT where the patient is moved continuously through the radiation field so that the circular motion of the X-ray source and the detector creates records in a spiral. In this way information is stored as a continuous volume on a computer. This means that larger areas can be imaged in a single pass over shorter time. Volume data is then used by the computer to create images cut and possibly three-dimensional images.

How is the survey?
This can vary from the X-ray department to the radiology department. The information sent from the radiology department can be examined is the one that applies. Mostly going investigation as explained below.

You examined lying on a motorized table that moves you into a "donut-like" opening. You need to lie very still during the examination of the images will not be blurred. During image capture, you will be told to hold your breath.

Apparatus, x-ray sources and receivers, the "donut" moving around you while the pictures are being taken. The images are displayed simultaneously on a screen. If it is necessary to prepare an area brighter, administered a contrast injection into the bloodstream. Many experience a feeling of warmth throughout the body when the contrast is injected, a few react with malaise, nausea and possibly vomiting. By breathing slowly and deeply can reduce the discomfort.

Patient Preparation
Generally recomend you to fast four hours before the examination if there is to be contrast. This is to reduce any discomfort from contra tin spraying.

If you are pregnant, you should notify basis because they are reluctant to do CT during pregnancy. Both the referring physician and the radiology department will review the necessary survey.

Do you have allergies, radiology department must be notified so that they can both assess the need for the use of any contrast and / or take preventive measures. This particularly applies if you have allergic reactions to contrast injection before.

If you have diabetes, diabetes, using medicines Glucophage / Metformin / Orabet and it will be given contrast in conjunction with CT scanning, you will be told to stop taking tablets for kidney function (creatinine) are examined one of the first days after the survey .

Also, patients with renal impairment or disease multiple myeloma requires a special set of x-ray department.

Claustrophobic reactions may occur, but the vast majority are subject to investigation without major problems. Patients who are very anxious, you may get a sedative. Patients with severe pain may get painkillers.

Metal objects such as buttons, zippers, belts, jewelry, etc. must be removed from the study area.

What to do?
The study provides a good representation of opacities, nodules, tumors and cysts in both lung tissue and the tissue around and between the lungs. CT can detect a number of changes which overlooked on plain radiographs. Contrast inserts injections in the blood can improve the image quality.

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