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In This Section Texas Health Allen
Radiology Services

Computerized Tomography

Computerized tomography, also known as CT scans or CAT scans, are painless diagnostic tests that use specialized X-ray equipment and powerful computers to create cross-sectional images. CT scans provide more detail than conventional X-rays and can produce images of bone, soft tissue and blood vessels all at the same time. 

The short-bore 1.5 High-field Magnet MRI offers comfort to patients.
The short-bore 1.5 High-field Magnet MRI offers comfort to patients.

Advanced 16-slice CT Scanner
Advanced equipment in the Department of Radiology and Imaging includes a 16-slice GE CT scanner, which produces up to 16 cross-sectional images ("slices") that are reconstructed to form a complete, precise image.

How It Works
The 16-slice CT scanner can perform most scans — from routine chests, abdomens, renal stones, to more complex biopsies and 3-dimensional (3D) reconstruction procedures. Instead of using a single beam to take an x-ray of your body as with conventional x-rays, several beams are used simultaneously from different angles. X-rays are created as the beams pass through the body and their strength is measured. Beams that pass through less dense tissue such as the lungs will be stronger; beams that pass through denser tissue such as bone will be weaker. A computer processes the information and a monitor displays a two-dimensional view that can then be evaluated.

To display the GI track you may be asked by your technologist to drink a "contrast" drink that will allow the radiologists on the medical staff to differentiate between bowel loops and surrounding tissues. You may also be given intravenous (IV) fluid with another form of "contrast" that allows the blood vessels in the body to be seen. This contrast has elements of iodine, so if you have any allergies please inform the technologist as soon as you can.

Overall Benefits

  • CT is one of the best tools for studying the chest and abdomen because it provides detailed, cross-sectional views of all types of tissue
  • A major advantage of CT is that it is able to clearly show very small bones as well as surrounding tissues such as muscle and blood vessels all at the same time
  • CT scans help to confirm the presence, size and location of a tumor
  • CT imaging can play a significant role in the detection of and care for vascular diseases

Patient Benefits

  • CT scanning is painless, noninvasive and accurate
  • CT examinations are fast and simple; in emergency cases, they can reveal internal injuries and bleeding quickly enough to help save lives
  • Unlike an MRI, a CT scan can be performed if you have an implanted medical device of any kind
  • After a CT scan, no radiation remains in your body

More Info

The Patient Order Form is needed for all outpatient exams.

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