Computed Tomography (CT)

Computerized axial tomography- sometimes referred to as CAT scan (CT scan), Images anatomical information from a cross-sectional plane of the body, each image generated by a computer synthesis of X-ray transmission data obtained in many different directions in a given plane. The images generated are called "slices", like slices of bread. They are usually in a single imaging plane (e.g. transaxial).

Early machines yielded digital images with at least 100 times the clarity of normal X-rays. Subsequently, the speed and accuracy of machines has improved many times over. CT scans reveal both bone and soft tissues, including organs, muscles, and tumors. Image contrast can be adjusted to highlight tissues of similar density, and, through graphics software, the data from multiple cross-sections can be assembled into 3-D images.

Preparation for CT scans:

  • CT exams requiring IV contrast: Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam, except water. All patients with diabetes, on chemotherapy, or over 70 years of age will be required to get their blood work prior to their exam (BUN & Creatinine levels will be attained).
  • CT exams requiring oral contrast: Drink first bottle of oral contrast 2 hours prior to exam, and second bottle half hour prior to exam. Patients may pick up oral contrast at MRD or you referring physician’s office.
  • CT Urograms: Please pick up special prep kit from MRD or call 714-538-MRD1 (6731) for more information.

Note: Some CT exams require both oral & IV contrast.

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