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Computed Tomography (CT)

What is CT?

Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging technique using advanced computer systems to generate 2D or 3D images of the internal structures your body using X-rays. The patient lies on a bed which enters a large “donut” shaped machine and the scan is usually over in a short time.

Some conditions require CT scans with contrast, a special dye that is injected into the veins.  This is for better visualisation of the organs to aid diagnosis.

The department performs a wide variety of scans ranging from a CT scan of the brain, to CT angiography of the limbs to assess blood vessels. 3D images can be created to aid diagnosis and surgical planning.  The images are then interpreted and documented in a report by radiologists.

Is CT Safe?

Due to advances in technology, it is possible to keep radiation doses as low as possible. Pregnant patients are not advised to go for CT scans due to the radiation, but it may be necessary for life-threatening cases where the benefits outweigh the risks.

CT scan contrast or dye must be used with caution in patients who are allergic or have kidney failure. The department has safety protocols to assess risk for patients and works closely with referring doctors to decide on the best imaging type.

Examples of CT Scans:

  • CT colonography can be used to visualise the inside of the large intestine (virtual colonoscopy).
  • CT coronary angiogram scan is able to show blockages in the coronary arteries of the heart.
  • CT brain scan is useful to diagnose stroke or bleeding in emergency situations.