CT Chest with Contrast
CT (Computed Tomography) scan is a radiological test that uses a series of X-rays taken and a computer to create detailed images of internal body organs, bones, and soft tissues. A chest CT scan is performed to visualize structures in your chest from multiple angles. These structures include; the chest wall (bones and muscles), lungs and pleura (covering sheath of the lungs), heart and pericardium (covering sheath of the heart), lymph nodes, and blood vessels including the aorta.
In a CT scan with contrast, a contrast material is injected through a vein in your body to enhance image quality, enabling the doctor to make a diagnosis.
Why and when do you need this test?
You may be advised for this test if you have signs and symptoms of a disease related to the organs and structures that reside in the chest or when some other medical tests related to the chest structures have deranged results that may need further evaluation.
Some of the indications for performing a chest CT scan with contrast include the following;
- If cancer is suspected in the lungs on the chest X-ray
- The suspected parenchymal disease of the lungs
- Lung infections (COVID-19) or abscesses
- Suspicion of a tumor/cancer in any of the chest organ
- Any nodules or fluid collection seen on X-ray
- To evaluate the abnormalities of thoracic blood vessels
- Staging of cancers
- Response to the treatment of cancers
Do you need to prepare for the test?
- For the CT scan with contrast, you will be asked to stop eating 3 hours before the test.
- You can drink clear fluids and take medications normally unless your doctor advises otherwise.
- You would be asked to remove jewelry, metal clips, or any metallic thing that can interfere with the radiation and may affect the image.
- You should wear loose, easy clothing to feel comfortable.
- Inform the doctor if you are pregnant, as this test uses X-rays which can harm a fetus.
- The contrast used for the procedure may cause some allergic reactions. Inform your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to iodine, are diabetic, or have kidney disease.
What can you expect?
- You will be asked to lie down on the table that will slide into the CT scan machine that looks like a large donut with a tunnel.
- The technologist will prick a vein in your arm to establish an IV line so that the Contrast material can be injected.
- You need to lie down still and not move to prevent the images from getting blurry.
- If you feel uneasy at closed paces, you may ask for relaxing medicine.
- You will be alone in the room but under the constant care of a technician across the glass window who will be talking to you.
- It is a painless procedure that lasts for about 15-30 minutes but may take longer.
Are there any risks to this test?
It is a non-invasive test that uses low doses of X-rays that poses no risks. However, X-rays can harm the baby inside the mother’s womb, so don’t forget to inform your doctor about your pregnancy.
The contrast material used can be harmful to diseased kidneys. Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease.
There is a slight chance of allergic reaction to the contrast material, but it can be controlled through medicines. Inform your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to iodine before.
If you are a diabetic patient and take metformin, inform your doctor, as it may interact with the contrast agent resulting in unwanted and harmful reactions.
What do the test results mean?
A signed report will be sent to your doctor by the radiologist. Your doctor would be able to tell you in detail about your results.
Some of the abnormal results may include the following;
- Interstitial lung disease
- Lung cancer
- Small airway disease
- Pulmonary nodules, mediastinal or chest wall masses
- Vascular abnormalities
- Pleural disease
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Heart tumors
- Aortic tear or aneurysm
Other related tests may include:
- MRA (magnetic resonance angiography)
- HRCT chest (High-resolution computed tomography)
Frequently ordered together
CT Chest without Contrast
CT Chest High Resolution without Contrast
CT Chest And Upper Abdomen without Contrast
X-Ray Abdomen And Chest
X-Ray Chest Apical Lordotic View
X-Ray Chest Oblique Projection
X-Ray Chest PA And Lateral
X-Ray Chest PA
CT Chest with & without Contrast
MR Angiogram Chest with And without Contrast
MRI Chest With Contrast
MRI Chest With & Without Contrast
Ultrasound Chest B-Scan
X-Ray Chest 2V Front and Lat AP
X-Ray Chest 2V Front and Lat Oblique
X-Ray Chest Complete Min 4V
Ultrasound CHEST WALL-UPPER BACK
PET-Imaging of Chest
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