CT Chest scan
The chest is most commonly imaged with a standard chest x-ray. Often an abnormal chest x-ray will be followed by a CT to confirm or better demonstrate pathology of the lungs, mediastinum or bony thorax.
CT of the chest is useful in the following situations:
• Detecting, diagnosing and evaluating diseases of the chest such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, emphysema, bronchiectasis, inflammation of the pleura and interstitial lung disease.
• Tumour evaluation before and after treatment as well as the detection of metastases.
• Evaluation of the chest and thorax following trauma.
• CT Angiography will demonstrate the blood vessels in the chest (also see CTA).
A contrast agent injection is often necessary to evaluate vascular structures and certain organs more accurately. This is administered intravenously by the radiologist.
With the advent of MDCT, the quality of CT and the reconstruction of 3D images have improved tremendously. The speed at which the images are acquired has also made it much easier to obtain diagnostic images on restless patients or patients who cannot hold their breath for very long.