Well, what is a CAT or CT scan? Are they the same? If not, what are the differences between them? You often see, doctors, advising for a CAT scan for certain conditions. Laymen like us have limited knowledge about these medical tests. Therefore, we often look up at online sites that can provide us with authentic information about these tests.
Are all of these online sites trustworthy? Can these sites provide us with the exact information about CT scan? Well! we highly advise you to cross check the medical information from these websites.
Are you are looking for authentic, detailed and complete information about CAT or CT scan? ZeaMed has a one-stop solution for all your doubts. We provide you with well-researched information that is checked, verified and authenticated by our panel of physicians.
Read on to discover what we have in store for you!
- What is a CT scan?
- What a CAT scan is?
- What does a CT scan show?
- What is a CT scan used to detect and what it is used for?
Let’s answer the first and foremost question: There is no difference between a CT and a CAT scan. It is just a difference in the terms, and they are often used interchangeably. The test was called a CAT scan originally, during the early and mid 1970’s, and it stands for Computed Axial Tomography. Since the 2000’s, it has been shortened by providers and simply called a CT scan, because it’s easier to say. Therefore, if a doctor has ordered you a CT scan or a CAT scan, they are one and the same.
What is a CT scan?
A CT scan is a set of letters called an acronym, and the letters stand for Computer Tomography. It is a type of medical imaging, which uses computer-processed combinations of x-ray images. They are pictures taken from various angles and put together to create a “cross-sectional image”, which appears like “slices” of a particular area of the body. Although this can sound scary, there is not any actual invasive slicing or cutting involved. They are images of “slices”. A CT scan shows these slices, and can also be known as X-Ray computed tomography.
What is a CAT scan then? Why is it called “axial tomography”?
Axial means something related to the axis/axes, which is defined as “an imaginary line that the body could rotate around” (Oxford Dictionary). During the early 1970’s, when the CAT scan was beginning to be used by doctors and professionals, a CAT scan provided data that could be manipulated to show different body structures based on their ability to absorb x-ray rays, and the pictures made were in the axial or transverse plane of the body. It was perpendicular to the long axis of the body.
CAT scan vs. CT scan
Modern CT Scanners that are being used today allow the amount of information to be formatted and reformatted in different ways, sometimes as volumetric or 3-dimensional images (3D). So, a CT and a CAT scan, is the same in the procedure, which means medically, there is no difference.
Let’s go beyond just the basics:
What does a CT scan show?
CT scans are used to show detailed images of many structures inside the body including the internal organs, blood vessels, bones etc. A CT scan is used to detect conditions which include damage to bones, injuries to internal organs, and difficulties with the blood flow due to stroke or cancer. A CT scan shows the various cross-sections of the body where the images show the bones, organs, soft tissues in a better and more clear way than an X-Ray. A CT scan also can show a tumor and its shape, size and location. Some very accurate CT scans also show the blood vessels that feed a tumor. CT scan shows different results depending on the part of the body that is being scanned.
What does a CT or CAT scan show?
- A CT /CAT scan of the brain can show providers if there is a tumor, infarction (a blocking of blood supply), a hemorrhage, etc. Whenever there is a head injury, even if it’s minor, a CT scan is recommended.
- A CT Scan of the neck area in adults and it is very effective in detecting the condition of the thyroid gland to detect the presence of thyroid cancer.
- A CT scan of the lungs works by detecting changes in the lungs especially fibrosis and emphysema. A bronchial wall thickening can be easily detected in a CT scan.
- A CT scan of the veins helps providers to visualize the arteries and veins inside a human body. It allows doctors to examine the blood vessels without having performed surgery or laparoscopy. In this area, a CT scan is more effective than an MRI scan.
- A CT scan of tumors can show the exact location of tumors and helps guide surgeons during biopsies or other procedures.
- A CT scan of the abdomen or pelvis can show abdominal and pelvic disorders like issues in the kidney, pancreas, liver, reproductive organs or intestines.
- A CT of the skeleton and extremities can show deep fractures in more detail than a traditional X-ray
How does a CT scan work?
You may be wondering how this procedure is done. A computed tomography scan works using an x-ray generator which rotates around the object that is being scanned. X-ray detectors are placed on the opposite side of the circle from the source of the x-ray beams. The beams move through an arc. These beams send more than one beam of radiation, which creates a clearer image than a regular X-ray.
These powerful beams can detect things even underneath an organ with a lot of density. After the beams have passed and scan has been done, the information must be thoroughly processed using a form of tomographic construction, which is a fancy way of saying the individual images taken are stitched together, producing a series of cross-sectional images.
Sometimes, contrast dyes are used to get more detailed images, like in case of getting a 3-D image of the abdomen, the patient may have to drink a barium liquid which would appear white on the scan, and shows in real-time how the digestive system is working.
These days, a CT scan shows more detailed images with the help of a spiral CT scan. A spiral CT scan is when a computer takes a series of images in a spiral shape around the body. Overall, a CT scan works successfully to show the very detailed images of the internal organs.
How is a CT scan done on patients?
Now that we know what a CT scan is, and how it works, let’s talk about what it means for the patient:
You are required to wear a minimal dress or a hospital gown that would be provided by the healthcare center. If your facility doesn’t provide you with a hospital gown, your clothing should be extremely loose fitting with no metal zippers and straps. You will also need to remove any metal objects such as piercings, and would be asked if they are pregnant or have any implants, like a metal hip.
If you’re allergic to iodine or shellfish, please tell your doctor before taking a CT with contrast. You might be allergic to the contrast dye additives, but most people can be pre-treated for this allergy and still receive the test.
Only the patient is allowed to be present at the chamber during the scan, unless the facility says otherwise. You may need to have a contrast dye before the scan. If this is the case, your physician will either give you contrast dye to drink (to visualize the digestive and metabolic systems) or you will have contrast injected into your veins.
For the procedure itself, you will be asked to lie down (usually on your back) on the motorized examination table which will slide inside the doughnut-shaped scanner machine. As the radiology technician collects each of the images they need, the examination table will move slightly and the machine will take another image of a different view. You can expect to be in the CT machine for 20-60 minutes, depending on what areas your doctor needs to see.
You will hear a loud banging noise while you are inside the machine, which can be surprising to some people. However, do not be alarmed. The reason you are hearing a banging noise is because of the magnetic field in the machine. It is created by a high-voltage current that is going through coils of wire, and the pulses are contracting and expanding. This process creates a knocking noise. It doesn’t mean the machine is broken, or that something is going wrong. Instead, it means it’s working properly.
After the completion of the procedure, the radiology technician will send the pictures of your body to a radiologist, who will interpret what they see in the images and then send the report to the physician who ordered this test for you.
What happens after a CT scan is done?
Once your CT scan is done and you are taken out of that noisy chamber, you are told to relax and wait a little while before you leave the clinic. The amount of time varies based on where you have it done. Some patients develop conditions such as skin rashes, nausea, or itching, which are related to the contrast which are minor and should go away after a short period of time.
If you were given the contrast dye, then you might be told to drink a lot of water to quickly flush it out by the kidneys. The IV contrast dye can sometimes cause more kidney problems if your kidney is already damaged.
Why choose ZeaMed over other services?
A CT scan generally ranges from $500-$3000, and can be more depending on the type of the scan done and the place where you would get your scan done.
CT scans are the most important diagnostic tool. They detect the conditions which are not detected by x-rays as they show the 3D images of the body. It is also used to monitor the patient’s condition after or during the treatment.ZeaMed has a standard price rate with no hidden costs. ZeaMed is also offering various discounts, especially during this time. You can visit ZeaMed anytime, for the best of services and rates.
If you are looking for the best CT scans near you in 2022, do check out our website. We provide you with quick and easy booking experience. You can avail maximum discounts for CT scan 2022 at ZeaMed.