Question 1. What Is Computed Tomography?
Computed tomography (CT) is a diagnostic procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to obtain cross-sectional pictures of the body. The CT computer displays these pictures as detailed images of organs, bones, and other tissues. This procedure is also called CT scanning, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography (CAT).
Question 2. How Is Ct Used In Cancer?
Computed tomography is used in several ways:
- To detect or confirm the presence of a tumor;
- To provide information about the size and location of the tumor and whether it has spread;
- To guide a biopsy (the removal of cells or tissues for examination under a microscope);
- To help plan radiation therapy or surgery; and
- To determine whether the cancer is responding to treatment.
Question 3. What Can A Person Expect During The Ct Procedure?
During a CT scan, the person lies very still on a table. The table slowly passes through the center of a large x-ray machine. The person might hear whirring sounds during the procedure. People may be asked to hold their breath at times, to prevent blurring of the pictures. Often, a contrast agent, or “dye,” may be given by mouth, injected into a vein, given by enema, or given in all three ways before the CT scan is done. The contrast dye can highlight specific areas inside the body, resulting in a clearer picture. Computed tomography scans do not cause any pain. However, lying in one position
during the procedure may be slightly uncomfortable. The length of the procedure depends on the size of the area being x-rayed; CT scans take from 15 minutes to 1 hour to complete. For most people, the CT scan is performed on an outpatient basis at a hospital or a doctor’s office, without an overnight hospital stay.
Question 4. Are There Risks Associated With A Ct Scan?
Some people may be concerned about the amount of radiation they receive during a CT scan. It is true that the radiation exposure from a CT scan can be higher than from a regular x-ray. However, not having the procedure can be more risky than having it, especially if cancer is suspected.
People considering CT must weigh the risks and benefits. In very rare cases, contrast agents can cause allergic reactions. Some people experience mild itching or hives (small bumps on the skin). Symptoms of a more serious allergic reaction include shortness of breath and swelling of the throat or other parts of the body. People should tell the technologist immediately if they experience any of these symptoms, so they can be treated promptly.
Question 5. What Is Spiral Ct?
rotates continuously around the body, following a spiral path to make cross-sectional pictures of the body.
Benefits of spiral CT include:
- It can be used to make 3–dimensional pictures of areas inside the body;
- It may detect small abnormal areas better than conventional CT; and
- It is faster, so the test takes less time than a conventional CT.
Question 6. What Is Total Or Whole Body Ct? Should A Person Have One?
A total or whole body CT scan creates images of nearly the entire body—from the chin to below the hips. This test has not been shown to have any value as a screening tool. (“Screening” means checking for signs of a disease when a person has no symptoms.)
The American College of Radiology (as well as most doctors) does not recommend scanning a person’s body on the chance of finding signs of any sort of disease. In most cases abnormal findings do not indicate a serious health problem; however, a person must often undergo more tests to find this out. The additional tests can be expensive, inconvenient, and uncomfortable. The disadvantages of total body CT almost always outweigh the benefits.
Question 7. What Is Virtual Endoscopy?
Virtual endoscopy is a new technique that uses spiral CT. It allows doctors to see inside organs and other structures without surgery or special instruments. One type of virtual endoscopy, known as CT colonography or virtual colonoscopy, is under study as a screening technique for colon cancer.
Question 8. What Is Combined Pet/ct Scanning?
Combined PET/CT scanning joins two imaging tests, CT and positron emission tomography (PET), into one procedure. A PET scan creates colored pictures of chemical changes (metabolic activity) in tissues. Because cancerous tumors usually are more active than normal tissue, they appear different on a PET scan. Combining CT with PET scanning may provide a more complete picture of a tumor location and growth or spread than either test alone. Researchers hope that the combined procedure will improve health care professionals’ ability to diagnose cancer, determine how far it has spread, and follow patients’ responses to treatment. The combined PET/CT scan may also reduce the number of additional imaging tests and other procedures a patient needs. However, this new technology is currently available only at some facilities.
Question 9. How Long Will It Take To Do A Ct Scan?
Expect the exam to last no longer than an hour, depending on the preparation needed and whether it includes the use of a contrast medium. The scan itself may take less than a minute on the newest machines. Most scans take just a few minutes to complete.
Question 10. What Will You Experience During And After The Procedure?
During the CT scan, you lie on a narrow table that slides through the opening of the gantry. You may lie on your back, side or stomach, depending on the area to be scanned. The table can be raised or lowered. Straps and pillows may help you stay in position. During a CT scan of the head, the table may be fitted with a special cradle that holds your head still. CT scans are painless. If your exam involves use of an intravenous contrast medium, you may feel a brief sensation of heat or experience a metallic taste in your mouth.
If you receive the contrast medium through an enema — to help highlight your lower gastrointestinal region — you may feel a sense of fullness and cramping. After the exam you can return to your normal routine. If you were given a contrast medium, your doctor, a nurse or the CT technologist performing the scan may give you special instructions. You may be asked to wait for a short time in the radiology department to ensure that you feel well after the exam. After the scan, you’ll likely be told to drink lots of fluids to help your kidneys remove the medium from your body.
Question 11. Will You Need Someone To Drive For Me After The Ct Scan?
No, the CT scan is a safe test that will not affect your ability to drive.
Question 12. How Long Does A Micro-ct Scan Take?
This is similar to asking how long is a string. It depends on the system you are using, the sample you are scanning, the number of pixels being used to image the sample, and the signal quality you are looking for in your results. Some scans can be completed in as little as 80 seconds for low density samples, and some high density scans can take up to 14 hours. The flexibility of changing scanning options on the Bruker SkyScan micro-CT systems allows you to cover a wide range of applications on a single system and an even wider range on the full line of SkyScan micro-CT systems.
The stability of the sample also determines how long you can scan a sample. The sample must be exactly the same at the end of scan as it was at the beginning of a scan. That means that samples should not dry out or shift during a scan. If this is a possibility, than it is best to go with a shorter scan time. More stable samples allow you to scan for longer times if needed.
Question 13. How About 3d Viewing?
CT-Volume allows you to easily create 3D views and movies from your cross sectional data.
Question 14. What Is Micro Computed Tomography (micro-ct)?
Micro-CT, and the higher resolution Nano-CT, is like having X-ray vision, only better. It allows you to see the inside of something without having to destroy the object itself. What we typically think of as X-ray vision is similar to planar X-ray images that you get in a hospital when you break an arm. Micro-CT / Nano-CT are more like the medical CT systems where you get slice-by-slice information, but without having to cut up the sample.
With 2D X-ray systems you can see what is in an object, while with 3D X-ray systems, such as the Micro-CT, you can see where those things are located. This is useful for nondestructively visualizing and analyzing the internal structure of materials (composites, metals, bones, soft tissues, geological cores, manufacture objections, etc) and living animals (mice, rats, rabbits, etc).
Question 15. What Is The Difference Between The Various Models Of Skyscan Micro-ct Systems?
We are happy to learn more about your samples and the results you are looking for in order to help you decide which system would best suit your needs. There are systems for large samples and high energies (SkyScan 1173 and 2211), for high resolution (SkyScan 1172, 1272, and 2211- which goes submicron), and systems for medium resolution (SkyScan 1275, 1174), Phase contrast (SkyScan 1294), systems for studying living animals (SkyScan 1176, 1278), and a micro-CT which can be inserted into an SEM.
Question 16. Can You Scan Multiple Samples?
Yes. On most systems you can put multiple samples in the sample tube and then select different scanning regions in the acquisition software
On the SkyScan 1272 you can use the optional sample carousel which will automatically load samples into the chamber, optimize the scan parameters, and start the scan.
Question 17. Can You Micro-ct A Living Animal?
Yes, the SkyScan 1176 and 1278 are capable of scanning living mice and rats. The 1176 can also scan the hind limb of some larger animals.
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