Chest CT Scan - Purpose, Preparation And Procedure
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Chest CT Scan

Chest CT Scan


A chest CT scan uses a special X-ray machine to analyze the chest abnormalities. The scan helps diagnose unexplained cough, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and other chest symptoms. The scan is quick, painless, and non-invasive, creating a more detailed structure of the inside chest. These images are more vivid than X-ray images.

Since it can detect airway passage, blood vessels, ribs, and even small lung nodules, chest CT can help diagnose the disease at its early stage and may help plan an effective treatment.

What Is The Purpose of a Chest CT Scan?

The scan is ideal for detecting early signs of inflammation, injury, or any unexplained infection. Some of the common uses of chest scan are:

  • Help to rule out clinical symptoms of chest discomfort
  • Examine abnormalities found in chest X-ray
  • Detect tumor and its severity
  • Helps plan a surgery
  • Helps plan radiation therapy
  • Analyze chest injury, including heart, spine, and ribs

CT scan can also be useful in demonstrating various lungs disorders such as

  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Benign and malignant tumors
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Congenital disorders related to chest

Preparation Before The Scan

The preparation for a chest ct scan is similar to that of any CT scan. The person has to be in a loose-fitting cotton dress. All metal items must be removed before going into the scanning room. The patient may be advised not to eat and drink 4-6 hours before the scan.
The patient is also advised to carry all the previous reports and inform his/her current medical conditions.

A pregnant woman should always inform the doctor and must take consent for the scan as the scan uses radiation that might be harmful to the fetus.

Procedure For The Scan

The scan is performed under the supervision of a radiologist. The patient is being asked to lie down on the sliding table in a supine position. The table slides inside the donut-shaped scanner. The X-ray tube and electronic detectors are located opposite each other ring that keeps rotating during the scan. Each rotation produces various images of the thin slices of the chest. The patient will be asked to stay quiet during the process as any movement can obstruct the quality of the scan. Since it’s a chest scan, the patient may be asked to hold a breath during the scan. A special computer processes these radiation data to create two-dimensional cross-sectional images of the body part that has been scanned. These pictures are then displayed on the monitor. These images are then transferred into softcopy and hardcopy as well and then interpreted by a radiologist. The scan hardly takes less than 5 minutes after the patient is ready.

The patient can follow a regular routine after the scan is completed.

Contrast Chest CT Scan

It is a particular type of CT scan that provides more detailed images. The process is entirely similar to a conventional CT scan, but the only difference is that a dye (medicine) is injected into the patient’s system before the scan. The dye helps to highlight the involved areas that are being scanned. This gives a more precise image and allows the doctor to plan treatment accordingly. After the scan, the patient is asked to drink plenty of water so that the dye flushes out of the system.

Chest CT Scan In Covid-19 Infection

CT scan shows precise and accurate data. A Chest CT scan may help to indicate moderate to severe respiratory problems and the possibility of Covid-19 infection, even when the RT-PCR test is negative, especially in symptomatic patients. The scan may show how much the virus has infected the lungs and helps plan treatment and determine the prognosis..


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Data Sources:

  • https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info/chestct
  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/ct-scan-of-the-chest
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/coronavirus-hrct-report-when-should-covid-19-patients-get-an-hrct-report-what-do-the-readings-mean/articleshow/82274531.cms




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Chest CT Scan - Purpose, Preparation And Procedure
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Chest CT Scan - Purpose, Preparation And Procedure
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A chest CT scan uses a special X-ray machine to analyze the chest abnormalities. The scan helps diagnose unexplained cough, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and other chest symptoms.
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