High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) refers to a CT scan that gives a more precise cross-section image of the lungs than a regular chest CT and chest X-ray. HRCT Chest uses specific technologies for better image resolution with exquisite lung details ideal for assessment. The HRCT scan covers the whole lung tissue which helps the doctors to find the cause of any abnormalities. This modality can be applied in diagnosing both acute and chronic diseases of the lung tissue and airways. HRCT can be more sensitive and accurate in diagnosing diffuse lung disease. Since HRCT can detect even small nodules in the lungs, it can detect severe abnormalities at an early stage and help to plan appropriate treatment.
HRCT chest scan is considered as a choice of investigation to find out lung abnormalities and unexplained chest complications. Some of the most common uses of the scans include:
HRCT scan is a painless, non-invasive imaging modality that does not require special preparations before the procedure. No contrast material is given to the patient during the process. One can have a normal diet and carry on with regular activities. However, in some cases, patients may be required to fast for a few hours before the procedure.
It is also advisable to carry all health records and prescriptions while going for the scan. Radiologists may use these records to corroborate their findings and make an accurate diagnosis. The patient is provided with a loose and comfortable cotton gown before going into the scanning room. All the jewelry and metal items must be removed before the commencement of the procedure.
Trained technicians perform the test. At the time of the scan, the patient lies down on the table, which then slides inside a large circular donut-shaped CT machine. The patient’s position is generally supine (lie flat on the back), and both hands above the head. The patient is requested to stay very still and to hold their breath.
HRCT chest scan takes less than 5 minutes once the patient is inside the scanner.
Note: Pregnant women should inform the doctor before the scan as CT scan uses ionization radiation.
At the time when Covid-19 cases are surging very fast across the country, the demand for chest scans is increasing exponentially. It is observed that people with RT-PCR negative are also suffering and experiencing severe Covid-19 symptoms. In such cases, people are advised to get an HRCT scan of chest done. This scan is another way of determining the extent of viral infection in the lungs. People instantly rush to get an HRCT chest scan done when they observe the initial symptom but HRCT report shows the presence of ground glass-lke opacities in the lungs which are generally visible post one week of the infection.
The three-fold use of an HRCT chest in Covid management are enumerated below:
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