Thorax (chest) CT scan
CT of the chest (computed tomography) is a method of obtaining images using x-radiation. In computer tomography (CT) of the chest CT produces images of slices of the thoracic and upper abdominal cavity. At this stage in the development of diagnostic CT of the chest (computed tomography) is one of the best ways to study soft tissue of heart, mediastinum and lungs.
The procedure of the chest computerized tomography (CT)
The patient is asked to lie on a special moveable bed, which is then shifted to the center of the CT scanner. Once inside the CT scanner around the patient begins to rotate the movable x-ray tube. In modern helical (multislice) CT is the imaging procedure of the chest is performed in a single pass.
Small detectors inside the CT scanner measure the amount of x-ray radiation passed through the patient's body (the chest cavity — heart mediastinum and lungs). The computer analyzes the received from the sensor information and converts it into images, called slices or layers. These images (slices) of organs in the chest after the CT scan may be saved to disk for viewing by the attending physician of the patient on the monitor or printed on film. Three-dimensional model of the thorax can be reconstructed by computed tomography after the merger of several sequentially obtained by the imaging sections.
During the procedure, a computed tomography (CT) of the chest the patient should lie still, because movement can smear the obtained tomography image. This will cause difficulty for the physician radiologist during interpretation (description) obtained for the CT images. The patient may also be asked to briefly hold your breath during the procedure, computed tomography (CT) of the chest.
In General, the procedure computed tomography (CT) of the chest lasting a few minutes. The latest multislice CT scanner installed in our radiology Department, you can get an image of the whole body of the patient (starting from head and ending with feet) in less than 30 seconds.
Specific purposes of computer tomography (CT) of the chest (heart, mediastinum and lung) require a special dye, called contrast. Contrast is administered to the patient intravenously just before the procedure of scanning a particular organ. The contrast enhances specific areas of the body that gives further clear image during the computed tomography. If the attending physician is required to examine the chest of the patient with contrast, the drug he will be introduced intravenously through the veins of the elbow or on the palm.
Preparing the patient for the procedure of the chest computed tomography (CT)
Some patients are allergic to the contrast injected CT scan intravenous. So they need preliminary acceptance desensibiliziruyuschee preparations before scanning in order to further the contrast was introduced into the body safely.
Contrast can be administered the patient in different ways, because it depends on the type prescribed by the attending physician of computed tomography:
- intravenous contrast (contrast) through the veins of the elbow or bend of the palm
- introduction contrast (contrast) via the rectum by enema
- oral administration of contrast (contrasting), when the patient drinks a contrast pre-medication before the procedure, computed tomography (CT); contrast fluid tastes like chalk, so it added flavor components, which facilitates their admission; when the patient before computed tomography the contrast is completely eliminated from the body with stool.
If assigned to the patient computer tomography (CT) of the heart, mediastinum and lung, the planned introduction of contrast, your doctor may ask you to refrain from taking food and fluids 4-6 hours before your scheduled appointment.
On computer tomography of the previous generation for the patients there was a weight restriction (up to 130 kg) during his tomography. Too much weight of the studied patients could lead to breakage of certain parts of the device. At this stage, our radiology Department has at its disposal the latest apparatus for multislice computed tomography (MSCT), where physical limitations for the evaluation of patients with a considerable weight no longer exists.
Since x-ray radiation does not penetrate through metal, the patient before computed tomography (CT) of the chest are kindly asked to remove jewelry (chains, pendants, earrings, etc.).
Tolerability of the chest computed tomography (CT) procedure
Some of these people may feel discomfort in the process of lying on a hard surface table of a computer tomograph.
The contrast is introduced before performing the computed tomography, the patient is intravenously, may cause a sense of heat used for this purpose, Vienna, feeling heat in the body and a metallic taste in the mouth. These sensations are normal and usually disappear within several seconds.
Indications for chest computed tomography (CT) procedure
Computed tomography (CT) very quickly gives a detailed picture of all the parts of the human body, including the brain, the blood vessels of the brain, chest, spine and abdominal organs. Computed tomography (CT) can be used to better visualize (compared to the standard procedure x-rays) of the chest (heart, mediastinum and lungs).
Computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest performed for patients:
- in case of injuries of the chest (pneumothorax, hemothorax, etc)
- suspicion of a tumor or tumor metastases cells
- to determine the exact size, shape and location of an organ in the chest or upper abdomen
- identify the source and volume of bleeding or other fluid accumulation in the lungs, pleura, mediastinum, etc.
The revealed changes on the chest computed tomography (CT) procedure
Computed tomography (CT) of the chest may show the following abnormalities in the heart, lungs or chest:
- abnormal development of blood vessels in the lungs
- the accumulation of blood and other fluid (effusion, abscess, etc.)
- an aortic aneurysm (thoracic aorta)
- enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)
Other diseases in which the patient may be assigned to conduct computer tomography (CT) of the chest:
- alcoholic cardiomyopathy
- atrial myxoma tumor
- cardiac tamponade (blood or pericardial effusion)
- dissection of the aortic wall (thoracic aorta)
- dilated cardiomyopathy
- cardiac insufficiency
- hypertension with cardiac disease
- idiopathic cardiomyopathy
- infective endocarditis
- ischemic cardiomyopathy
- left-sided heart failure
- mesothelioma (a malignant tumor)
- tumor metastasis in lung
- mitral regurgitation (acute and chronic)
- mitral valve prolapse
- pericarditis (bacterial, fungal)
- pulmonary edema
- restrictive cardiomyopathy
- senile amyloidosis of the heart
- occlusion of the superior vena cava
Possible risks and complications during the chest computed tomography (CT) procedure
Computed tomography (CT) of the chest and other similar X-ray examination of patients is strictly controlled in order to know exactly the amount of radiation received. Performed on modern imaging Computed tomography (CT) of the chest gives the minimum dose of ionizing radiation, which could potentially cause cancer and other complications. Be that as it may, the risks associated with computed tomography (CT) of the chest (heart, mediastinum, and lung) are small. This risk is increased only in the future, many times repeating the same kind patient study.
In some cases, computed tomography (CT) of the chest can be performed repeatedly to the patient. This may be necessary if the benefits of the diagnosis obtained by this vital information over the risk of complications is especially important if you suspect the presence of cancer in a patient.
Computed tomography (CT) of organs of the upper abdomen is usually not recommended for pregnant women because it can harm the fetus. So the woman if you suspect the presence of her pregnancy should notify her physician to assign another type of diagnostics (ultrasound, MRI).
Most kinds of contrast injected intravenously with computed tomography (CT) of the chest, contain iodine. If the patient has an iodine allergy (idiosyncrasy), the use of contrast enhancement in imaging can cause nausea, vomiting, sneezing, and itchy rash (urticaria). Rarely, contrast, input in computer tomography (CT) of the chest (heart, mediastinum and lung), may cause threat for life anaphylactic reaction. If the patient have any difficulty breathing during the execution of the computed tomography contrast enhancement, it must immediately inform the doctor of radiation diagnosis or his assistant conducting the study. All CT scanners are equipped with intercom and sound speaker, so the doctor or his assistant always hear the patient.
In patients with renal insufficiency, contrast can cause nephrotoxic effect. In this situation your doctor will need to perform preliminary preventive steps to protect patient when holding him computer tomography (CT) of the chest with intravenous contrast.