Spinal CT is a rapid procedure and offers an accurate evaluation of bone and most soft tissues. Using the latest equipment, the spine may be displayed in multiple planes and three-dimensional imaging is an option.
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.
CT has been shown to be a cost-effective imaging tool for a wide range of clinical problems.
CT can be performed if you have an implanted medical device of any kind, 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.
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.
The risk of serious allergic reaction to contrast materials that contain iodine is extremely rare, and radiology departments are well-equipped to deal with them.
Manufacturers of intravenous contrast indicate mothers should not breastfeed their babies for 24-48 hours after contrast medium is given.
Because children are more sensitive to radiation, they should have a CT exam only if it is essential for making a diagnosis and should not have repeated CT exams unless absolutely necessary. CT exams in children should always be done with low-dose technique.