Brain CT - Benefits and Risks

Benefits

  • 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.
  • 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 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 of any kind, unlike MRI.
  • 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 exams have no immediate side effects.

Risks

  • 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.
  • Women should always inform their physician and x-ray or 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. This risk is, however, minimal with head CT scanning.

Watch the CT - What to Expect Video.

Watch the CT - What to Expect Video.