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Computed Tomography Treatment Information
CT is a scan using X-rays, which are forms of radiant energy. X-rays penetrate the body, which allows a radiologist to produce pictures of internal structures. The CT machine rotates a radiation source around your body very quickly and gathers image data from multiple X-ray beams. The data is sent to a computer that turns it into the detailed picture your physician needs to make an accurate diagnosis.
We have procedures that minimize the amount of radiation you receive from a CT scan. National guidelines and safety standards help us calculate the exact amount of radiation necessary according to the image your physician needs. For children, we have special procedures for determining the dose of radiation by age, weight and type of image needed. As part of our dedication to patient safety, IU Health Radiology is involved in research about ways to further reduce the amount of radiation used for CT scans.
CT is a very useful tool for diagnosing a variety of conditions. We have techniques for creating CT images of different parts of the body. Our services include:
- CT angiography. An angiogram is an X-ray image of the blood vessels. We use angiography to diagnose such conditions as aneurysms (bulges in blood vessels), atherosclerosis (build up of deposits in blood vessels) and heart abnormalities. To perform a CT angiogram, we inject a dye that contains iodine. This dye flows through blood vessels and organs. The scanner collects image data from highlighted areas as your body passes through the CT machine. A computer uses this information to make a 3-D picture.
- CT colonography. CT scans of the colon reveal cancerous and non-cancerous growths. For this type of CT scan, your colon needs to be completely clear. We inflate it with a harmless gas, which allows the scanner to capture clear images of the inside of your colon. The computer combines these images to make a 3-D picture. This 3-D image allows radiologists to see abnormalities clearly.
- Chest CT. A CT of your chest reveals conditions in your lungs, such as cancer, emphysema and tuberculosis. Sometimes we perform this scan with a harmless liquid called contrast. This makes certain features inside your body more visible in the CT picture.
- Head CT. CT head scans reveal conditions such as: aneurysms, brain tumors and stroke. The resulting images may be flat or 3-D, depending on your physician’s request. Sometimes we use contrast to make the CT image clearer.
- Pediatric CT. Depending on your child’s condition, sometimes a CT scan is the only way to see inside your child’s body. We are especially careful to minimize children’s exposure to radiation. We follow special procedures that allow us to use the least amount of radiation to make the highest quality images. Small children may need sedation to help them stay still during the scan. A pediatric specialist administers this medicine and monitors your child’s safety during the scan.
- PET scan. PET scanning is a type of nuclear medicine that uses a small amount of injected, swallowed or inhaled radioactive material. When highlighted under a PET scanner, this material allows doctors to see how well your organs and tissues are working. A machine detects the radioactive material in the body and makes an image of that area. The PET image may be combined with a CT image to form a single picture.
Computed Tomography Locations & Physicians
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Computed Tomography Support Services
Learn more about CT procedures and how CT images allow your physician to diagnose you effectively.
A Sampling of Computed Tomography Support Services
The American College of Radiology and Radiology Society of North America provides extensive information about CT and how it benefits you and your physician.