What is a CT scan?

CT (computed tomography) is an X-ray method for obtaining layered images of organs. The latest generation of CT machines – multi-spiral (MSCT) - which, thanks to more modern equipment, also provide the ability to build a 3D image.

Why do I need an intravenous contrast agent for CT?

The contrast agent accumulates differently in normal and altered organs and tissues of the body, this primarily concerns tumor formations. With the help of contrast, you can detect even a small tumor and assume the degree of its malignancy. Intravenous contrast also helps to determine the condition of blood vessels (arteries and veins). Such studies include CT angiography (of the abdominal aorta, arteries and veins of the lower extremities). CT-coronary angiography (examination of the heart vessels).

Performing a CT scan of the abdominal cavity without using a contrast agent does not make sense, because the doctor will not receive complete information and the study will need to be repeated.

Can intravenous administration of a contrast agent lead to any complications?

No, contrast agents of recent generations are usually well tolerated by patients. Sometimes, at the time of administration, there is a feeling of heat, which quickly passes. Only some patients with a tendency to allergies may develop a more pronounced reaction, which will require additional therapeutic measures. All CT rooms are equipped with the appropriate set of necessary drugs. Also, the State Medical Institution of the MCSC named after A. S. Loginov DZM has specialists in intensive care working around the clock, who in extreme cases will provide the necessary highly qualified assistance in time.

Is there a contraindication to performing a CT scan?

The only contraindication is pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, since the method is associated with radiation exposure.

What organs can be examined in the conditions of the State Medical Institution of the MCSC named after A. S. Loginov DZM?

Almost all organs and systems of the body:

  • Head and brain research
  • Necks
  • Chest area
  • Retroperitoneal space
  • Urinary system
  • Pelvic floor
  • Blood vessels, including heart vessels
  • Bone system
  • A separate type of research in the State Medical Institution of the MCSC named after A. S. Loginov DZM is CT-Enterography and virtual colonoscopy, which allow you to detect diseases of the small and large intestine without endoscopy

What is the procedure for conducting a CT scan?

The study is done by appointment to avoid the need for a long wait.

During the study, the patient is alone in the room, but at the same time he has the possibility of audio communication with the specialist conducting the procedure.

The table on which the patient is lying is moved into the tunnel during the examination process to obtain more complete results of organ scans. The depth of this tunnel is very small, so there is no fear of a closed space. During the procedure, the patient should lie still. In some cases, the lab technician may ask you to hold your breath. The time of CT examination is about 15 minutes, but if intravenous contrast is required, the time increases to 40 minutes.

It is necessary to bring with you previous images and descriptions of ultrasound, CT, MRI.

How long will the CT description take? 

Today, CT is of great importance for determining the tactics of treatment of the vast majority of diseases. The improvement of diagnostic systems has made it possible to obtain a large amount of information in a very short time – each scan lasts no longer than 10-15 minutes.

The analysis of the results of the study is an extremely responsible process that requires a multi-faceted differential diagnosis, and often a collegial discussion. In this regard, the following standards of time spent on the description of the study are established in the MNCC named after A. S. Loginov:

Name of the study                            

Duration of the description from the end of the study

CT scan without intravenous contrast:

brain, paranasal sinuses, skeletal bones of 1-2 areas, chest organs (except for oncological and interstitial diseases), abdominal organs for the assessment of urinary tract concretions

 no more than 1 hour
CT of the chest organs in case of suspected interstitial lung diseases, as well as CT of the skeletal bones of 3 or more areas  no more than 2 hours

CT with intravenous contrast:

angiopulmonography, CT-angiography (including CT-coronarography), CT-enterography
 no more than 2 hours

CT with intravenous contrast:

areas of the head and neck, chest, abdominal cavity and retroperitoneal space, as well as studies of several areas in case of suspected or presence of cancer with an assessment of the prevalence and dynamics of the development of the process
 no more than 3 hours

The time taken to describe studies performed in other health care facilities depends on the field of study, according to the attached table.

With increased complexity of the study and the need to involve different specialists, the duration of the description can be increased in consultation with the patient. In addition, the conclusion can be sent to the patient's email address, which will eliminate the long wait for the result.

GBUZ Moscow Clinical Scientific Center named after Loginov MHD