Computed Tomography (CT, CAT Scan)
Contrast media (X-ray dye) may be required for your exam. Oral and injected contrast media contain iodine, so if you have a sensitivity to iodine there is a possibility of an allergic reaction. Please discuss this with your doctor prior to the procedure.
CT scans produce much larger amounts of radiation than ordinary X-rays. The radiation patients are exposed to during one CT chest exam is about the same as getting 400 simultaneous chest X-rays.
While the benefits of a CT scan virtually always out-weigh the risks, you should still ensure that a CT scan is the most appropriate type of exam to diagnose your condition. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. Your doctor should have access to the Canadian Diagnostic Imaging Referral Guidelines, which were designed to ensure patients get the right exam, the first time.
CT is a computerized x-ray system, which creates cross sectional images (slices) of the interior of the body. It has many uses including assessment of the brain, spine, chest, and abdominal organs.