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CT Exams

CT Angiography & Pulmonary Angiography

CT angiography (CTA), is a radiology test that combines the technology of a conventional CT scan with that of traditional angiography to create detailed images of the blood vessels in the body.

CTA can assess the status of both the large arteries and veins in most parts of the body, including the brain. Traditional angiography involves the injection of contrast dye into a blood vessel to help visualize the status of the blood vessels. When the contrast dye is used to visualize veins, the study is called a venogram, and when it is used to visualize arteries, it is known as an arteriogram. In CT angiography, the dye is always injected into a vein first and as the dye circulates from the veins into the arteries. CT angiography is considered less invasive than the traditional angiogram.

Pulmonary CT angiography (CTA), with its ability to visualize disease in the smallest pulmonary vessels, is poised to become the gold standard for imaging the pulmonary circulation. Pulmonary angiography is performed to see whether a pulmonary embolus, or blood clot, has traveled through the veins from the legs or pelvis into the lungs, blocking blood flow to a part of the patient’s lungs.

CT Urography

CT Urography is an examination designed to evaluate the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters and bladder) using computed tomography (CT). This exam has been introduced to replace or complement the IVP. The CT Urogram is optimally designed to specifically evaluate the urinary tract with the added advantage of visualizing all other abdominal and pelvic structures.

Primary Indications for a CT Urogram are to detect kidney stones and to evaluate patients with blood in their urine (hematuria).

Lung Screening (Smokers)

CT Lung Cancer Screening is an exam that evaluates a patient’s lungs for any signs of lung cancer. This screening tool is intended for individuals considered to be at high risk for developing lung cancer. The advanced CT scan provides a rapid examination of your lungs and is designed to detect small nodules (possible cancers) that may be present but not yet visible on a standard chest x-ray. Recent research suggests that detection of these nodules at a very small size may dramatically improve likelihood of survival of lung cancer.

CT Lung Cancer Screenings may be performed on patients 60 years of age or older with at least a 10 pack-year smoking history. Pack-year history is calculated by multiplying the number of years smoking by the number of packs per day. (National data shows that 83% of lung cancers are currently diagnosed in patients over 60). Other candidates include patients between 50 and 60 years of age with at least a 20-30 pack-year smoking history or with risk factors such as asbestos exposure or obstructive airway disease.

CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy)

CT Colonography or Virtual Colonoscopy is a procedure that uses computed tomography (CT) to examine the colon and rectum for presence of cancer or pre-cancerous polyps. Virtual colonoscopy can disclose tumors, bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulosis.

Unlike optical colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy requires no sedation because it is a minimally invasive procedure. Potential indications for having a CT Colonography exam are incomplete colonoscopy, low-to-average risk patients who prefer not to have a colonoscopy; and frail patients and patients who are unable to tolerate a colonoscopy.

Virtual colonoscopy eliminates the risk of perforating the colon while enabling enhanced detection of polyps as small as 3 millimeters (slightly less than one-eighth of an inch) in diameter. While conventional colonoscopy takes two hours or more to perform, virtual colonoscopy can be completed within half an hour and is a far more comfortable procedure.

Heart Screen (Coronary Artery Calcification Scoring)

Calcification in the coronary arteries is the earliest indicator of heart disease. Coronary Artery Calcification Scoring (CACS) uses non-invasive, high-speed computerized tomography (CT) to scan the heart to produce an in-depth view of the heart and blood vessels and determines the risk of coronary heart disease. The exam looks for calcium deposits in the arteries, then calculates a calcium score. This score is an accurate predictor of the degree of narrowing of the coronary arteries. Taking into account other factors such as age, family history, and cholesterol level, the score will be used to measure the potential for heart disease.

The score returned from this exam identifies the level of calcium deposits within the arteries. Benefits of early detection of coronary artery disease include: Identifying risk factors for modification to slow progression of disease, recommendations for follow-up medical care, Peace of mind and reassurance for healthier living.