Computed Axial Tomography (CT or CAT): How does it work?

It is a diagnostic imaging technique based on the emission of X-rays combined with complex computer algorithms that process the data received from the radiation, giving rise to images of the organism in the form of “slices” that radiologists analyze. The test is painless. Today, there are many CT scan machines for sale, giving the chance to many clinics and hospitals for applying the diagnostic technique.

The main advantages are its immediacy and the possibility of covering the whole body in a short time. The images obtained are three-dimensional, high resolution, and allow diagnosing a wide range of pathologies (infectious, tumorous, traumatic…) in any part of the body.

The administration of an intravenous contrast compound of Iodine is often necessary for better visualization of the structures under study.

Necessary preparation

– The test must have been ordered by a doctor.

– If the test requires intravenous contrast administration, the patient should be fasting (4-6 hours).

– During the test, the patient should not wear any metallic object (jewelry, watches, braces, bra rings…).

– The patient has to sign the informed consent.

– This test should not be performed in pregnant women unless strictly necessary. Therefore, the possibility of pregnancy should be reasonably ruled out before testing a fertile woman.

During the test

– The test lasts between 5 and 30 minutes

– You will need to lie on a stationary gurney while it is being moved. Sometimes you will be asked to hold your breath.

What is a CAT and how does it work?

The Computerized Axial Tomography, also known by the acronym CAT or CT, is a study that uses X-rays to explore certain parts of the body in search of injuries or pathologies. This technique allows access to an accurate and effective diagnosis in a short time. To perform computed tomography, the patient must lie on the table of a machine, which slides into a cavity or tunnel.

Sending and receiving X-rays from different angles results in a series of high-resolution three-dimensional photographs. This facilitates detailed observation of conditions in the bones, internal organs, soft tissues (muscle injuries), or even blood vessels.

Performing a professionally advised medical CT has many advantages. It allows the analysis and detection of diseases that cannot be seen with conventional radiography. In addition, it is a minimally invasive and painless method for the patient.

Types of CT (Computed Axial Tomography)

Among the various types of axial tomography that can be performed are:

– Brain CT: Brain CT is one of the techniques with less risk to study the causes of dizziness, pain or brain tumors.

– Chest CT: It is used to examine pathologies such as chest pain, cough, lung lesions or tumors.

– Abdominal CT: This abdominal CT is performed to determine possible infections, external and internal injuries or abdominal pathologies.

– Dental CT: Images of the patient’s dental structure (teeth and jawbones) are obtained. It is recommended for implantology and orthodontic studies.

CT with contrast

In certain cases, a CT with contrast can be performed to increase the visibility of internal organs or soft tissues. Some explorations require prior preparation, consult your doctor.

Necessary preparation:

– The test must have been ordered by a doctor.

– If the test requires intravenous contrast administration, the patient should be fasting (4-6 hours).

– During the test, the patient should not wear any metallic object (jewelry, watches, braces, bra rings…).

– The patient has to sign the informed consent.

– This test should not be performed in pregnant women unless strictly necessary. Therefore, the possibility of pregnancy should be reasonably ruled out before testing a fertile woman.

During the test:

– The test lasts between 5 and 30 minutes

– You will need to lie on a stationary gurney while it is being moved. Sometimes you will be asked to hold your breath

The composition of these substances reacts differently to X-ray exposure, giving a higher quality in the image of the scanned organ. In these cases, you should mention to your doctor if you have any type of allergy before undergoing treatment.

Difference between CT and Resonance

The difference between CT and Resonance is that the former uses X-rays for imaging and the latter uses magnets and radio waves. Both techniques are useful for diagnostic imaging. The tomography is less noisy and less sensitive to the movements of the patient while undergoing the test.

How much does a CAT cost? 

The price of a CT scan varies depending on the type of test prescribed by the medical specialist. However, in our clinic, you can request to carry out any of the tests that we have described before, with the confidence of being in the hands of highly qualified and experienced professionals. If you need to expand this information or have any questions about the procedure of a Computerized Axial Tomography (CT), do not hesitate to contact Amber Diagnostics.