High Resolution Chest CT - Benefits and Risks
- CT is fast, which is important for patients who have trouble holding their breath.
- CT is painless, noninvasive and accurate.
- A major advantage of CT is its ability to image bone, soft tissue and blood vessels all at the same time.
- Unlike conventional x-rays, CT provides very detailed images of many types of tissue as well as the lungs, bones, and blood vessels.
- CT examinations are fast and simple; in emergency cases, they can reveal internal injuries and bleeding quickly enough to help save lives.
- CT has been shown to be a cost-effective imaging tool for a wide range of clinical problems.
- CT is less sensitive to patient movement than MRI.
- CT can be performed if you have an implanted medical device, unlike MRI.
- CT imaging provides real-time imaging, making it a good tool for guiding minimally invasive procedures such as needle biopsies and needle aspirations of many areas of the body, particularly the lungs, abdomen, pelvis and bones.
- A diagnosis determined by CT may eliminate the need for exploratory surgery and surgical biopsy.
- No radiation remains in a patient's body after a CT examination.
- X-rays used in standard CT exam have no immediate side effects.
- There is always a slight chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis will generally outweigh the risk.
- The effective radiation dose for this procedure varies. (see above)
- Women should always inform their CT technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
- CT is, in general, not recommended for pregnant women unless medically necessary because of potential risk to the baby.
Watch the CT - What to Expect Video.