Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed Tomography (CT)

A computed tomography scan (or CT) is an efficient, quick and comfortable procedure which uses x-rays and digital computer technology to create detailed 3D images of the body. CT imaging helps your doctor obtain information to evaluate your medical condition and is the preferred method for evaluating many medical conditions.

Standard CT scanners have 1, 4 or 16 detectors circling around the body. Noosa Radiology has a CT scanner with 64 detectors (64 slice CT). Compared with older CT scanners this has several distinct clinical advantages, including improved diagnostic accuracy and dose reduction.

To obtain a clear picture, standard CT scanners may require a person to hold their breath for 15 seconds or more several times during the scan. This can be difficult, especially for a person already experiencing chest or breathing difficulties. With the speed gained by increased number of detectors in the new technology, breath holds are limited to 5 seconds or less. This produces crisp, clearer pictures and is more comfortable for the person being scanned. Shorter exams are better tolerated by children and people who suffer from claustrophobia, reducing the need for sedation.

Preparing for your examination

Please be aware that most CT scans require an appointment. Please call us to arrange an appointment.

What to bring:

  • A referral from your GP or specialist
  • Medicare card
  • Pension/concession card
  • Previous films from other clinics relating to the area being scanned with us

It is important to inform your Doctor and the Noosa Radiology Staff if:

  • You have any allergies to iodine contrast (X-ray dye)
  • You have kidney problems
  • You are diabetic and are taking medications

Please tell us if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Most CT examinations require preparation including fasting and being well hydrated. Our staff will make you aware of all preparation when booking your appointment.

Reasons for a CT

CT scans are useful for angiograms, coronary arteries, brain/sinus, spine, heart, chest and abdomen examinations.

Every day adults with no symptoms of heart disease fall victim to the "silent killer". With this new technology your GP or specialist can request a CT scan of the heart and chest that will give you a measure of your heart health before any symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath occur. Consider it a one-stop heart check-up with an analysis of the coronary arteries, valves, ventricular analysis, myocardial mass, plaque morphology and lung parenchyma. Prior to 64 detector CT technology, assessment of the coronary arteries was only available by inserting a catheter into a leg artery, which generally involves day admission to hospital.

CT Colonography is a new minimally invasive test in screening for colon cancer. It is an excellent alternative for patients who have clinical factors that increase the risk of complications from colonoscopy. No sedation or analgesia is required. CT colonography provides detailed 2D and 3D images of the colon, and can identify polyps as small as 5mm in size, with much greater accuracy than a conventional barium enema.

What to expect

On arrival you may be asked to fill out an iodine contrast consent form. You may be provided with a gown to wear instead of your own clothes. You will be asked to remove:

  • All metal objects in the region of interest including
  • Jewellery
  • Glasses
  • Dentures
  • Hearing aids

In the imaging room, you will be helped onto a padded table which will move during the study to position you for the pictures. Each study normally takes only 5 – 10 seconds. As you are moved through the CT scanner, an X-ray tube and detectors rotate around your body.

During the examination you may hear humming or clicking sounds from the CT machine. The table moves to position you for the images. Your job during the examination is simply to relax and not move.

Our equipment utilises the latest radiation reduction techniques and the risks at these exposure levels are thought to be very small and outweighed by the information obtained by performing the scan. The multiward winning Toshiba Aquilion CT has the best low contrast resolution in its class. This means the system provides the best image quality at the lowest possible dose. In addition, prospective ECG gating software results in up to 10 times the dose reduction compared with older retrospective gating techniques.

When can you get your results?

The images obtained are digitally recorded. At Noosa Radiology our highly trained and qualified Radiologists interpret the images and provides a report for your doctor and/or referring health care provider within 24 hours, although usually 3 hours depending on the complexity of the scan.

You will be able to take your images on the day or collect them at a time that is convenient for you. You may need to make a follow up appointment to discuss the results with your referring practitioner.

We invite you to ask any additional questions you may have before or after your examination.