CT or Computed axial tomography, sometimes called a CAT scan, is a painless medical test that helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. CT imaging uses special X-ray equipment to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. A computer takes these pictures and joins them together to create cross-sectional views of the area being studied. CT scans of organs, bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels provide greater clarity when compared to an X-ray exam. The result is a very detailed view of the body.
Some of the types of CT scans we perform include:
CT angiography: This modern diagnostic test combines the technology of a conventional CT scan with that of traditional angiography. It can assess blood vessels noninvasively often just as well as the traditional angiogram, but with much less risk to the patient. The test can also detect additional problems outside of the vessel which would ordinarily be missed on a more invasive test. CT angiography can be utilized to visualize arteries throughout the body including cerebral arteries in the brain, carotid arteries in the neck, coronary arteries in the heart, pulmonary arteries in the lungs, arteries in the abdomen/pelvis, and peripheral arteries in the arms and legs.
Cardiac CT: Scans produce high-resolution images of the arteries, chambers, and valves of the heart. Coronary CT angiography provides direct visualization of the coronary arteries, and can detect coronary disease including whether or not a blockage is present. Calcium score CT allows measurement of the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries to better assess a patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Oncologic CT: A large volume of cancer patients come to our department every day for CT scan designed to detected cancer as well as comprehensive post-treatment surveillance CT to help optimize their treatment.
Lung cancer screening CT: Patients who are at high risk for developing lung cancer are offered screening CTs in collaboration with the MedStar Georgetown Department of Pulmonary Medicine.