What is a CT of the chest used for?
Using CT, the lungs, heart and bones are clearly and accurately shown in a fast, painless and non-invasive way. Apart from doing that, the test can also be used to:
- Evaluate causes of breathlessness, for e.g lung fibrosis/scarring, bronchitis or emphysema
- For patients with lung cancer, CT thorax allows doctors to decide tumour stage, and plan appropriate surgery or medical treatment.
- Assess the presence of a blood clot (pulmonary embolism) spreading to the lungs.
- Assess for developmental anomalies of the chest.
- Detect various types of tumors in the lung that have spread to there from another area of the body. Some tumors that arise elsewhere are first identified by finding deposits of malignant cells (metastases) in the lungs.
- Guide diagnostic procedures such as the biopsy of a suspicious area to detect cancer, or the removal of fluid from a localized infection (abscess).
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
- Remove metal objects such as jewellery, glasses, dentures, hairpins, underwire bras and piercings.
- Bring a list of any allergies and current medications and inform your doctor of them in advance of appointment.
- Inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or medical conditions and whether you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems.
- Inform the Radiologist if you have asthma, multiple myeloma or any disorder of the heart, kidneys or thyroid gland, or if you have diabetes—particularly if you are taking a medication called Glucophage.
- Women should inform their Doctor and the Radiologist if there is a posibility that they are pregnant.
Image courtesy of Siemens Healthcare
What will I experience during my scan?
Who interprets the results and how do I receive them?
A Consultant Radiologist with expertise in supervising and interpreting radiology examinations will analyse the images and send an official report to your referring physician, who will discuss the results with you.
Follow-up examinations may be necessary, and your doctor will explain the reason why. Sometimes a follow-up examination is carried out because a suspicious or questionable finding needs clarification with the advice of another physician or a special imaging technique. It may also be necessary for monitoring any abnormality over a period of time to determine if it is stable or has changed.