CT Head Scan
A CT scan of the head is very often the first step in identifying and evaluating any abnormalities associated with the brain, especially following trauma.
CT of the head can be divided into the following categories:
• Uncontrasted CT Brain – visualising brain matter and bone for identifying pathology, usually in an emergency
• Pre and Post contrast CT Brain – providing a more detailed assessment of the brain, its blood vessels and abnormal findings
• High-resolution CT of the facial structures, temporal bones or inner ears.
• CT of the sinuses
• CT Angiography of the brain vessels (see CTA)
CT of the brain is useful for diagnosing and evaluating:
• Bleeding and damage to the soft tissues and bone due to trauma.
• Planning for reconstructive surgery after injury.
• Bleeding due to a ruptured or leaking aneurysm of the arteries in the brain.
• Stroke and suitability for acute intervention.
• Assessing tumours and surgical planning for their removal.
• Build-up of fluid in the brain ventricles causing hydrocephalus.
With the arrival of MDCT the scan quality and 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 – especially in the context of head trauma.