WHAT IS A CT SCAN AND WHAT DOES IT SHOW?
Computerized Tomography, or a CT scan, is a diagnostic test in which the computer takes a series of internal pictures of your body and organizes them in a sequence for the doctor to study. A sophisticated computer creates multiple slices of two-dimensional images in various planes to compile a full picture. More specialized CT procedures are done for advanced diagnostics. A radiopaque contrast substance is ingested by mouth and the patient is entered in the scanner to take high resolution images. High resolution CT scans, such as the ones that Dr. Nina Maouelainin issues at Lung Health Services, reveal extra details about lung disorders.
COMMON USES OF THE PROCEDURE
- Evaluate abnormalities found on X-ray.
- Help diagnose the cause of lung related symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, chest pain and fever.
- Detect new tumors and establish the extent of metastasis
- Determine the efficacy of the treatment
- Plan radiation therapy
- Determine the extent of trauma and injury to the chest and internal organs
- Evaluate fetal chest abnormalities detected on ultrasound
HOW CT SCANS HELP DIAGNOSE VARIOUS LUNG DISEASES
CT angiography is done to diagnose blood clots in the pulmonary artery (pulmonary embolism). The contrast agent is injected in the blood vessels and the images are taken.
A CT scan is much more effective in showing tumors in the lungs. It can show the size, shape and position of the tumors as well as enlarged lymph nodes which will help determine the extent of the spread of cancer. If the cancer is deeply situated, CT can assist in a fine needle biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. CT is often combined with PET scan to further establish the extent of the metastasis to distant organs.
CT scan is very effective in determining the cause of pleural effusion. It helps visualize the pleural cavity and any abnormality in the space can be thoroughly evaluated.
CT scan is the main imaging modality in diagnosing thoracic trauma, rib fractures and other associated complications. A CT angiography is done to determine any vascular injury due to trauma.
SMOKING AND CANCER RISK
Lung cancer screenings using lung CT scan are recommended for people who are long term smokers. A CT will determine a baseline and with regular screenings, any slight abnormality inside the lung can be quickly addressed.
A CT scan is a highly sophisticated diagnostic tool used to diagnose variety of lung diseases, but is especially effective in detecting lung cancers. A quick and correct diagnosis will lead to targeted management of this chronic and most feared disease.
Interventional pulmonology specialist Dr. Nina Maouelainin and her team at Lung Health Services provides comprehensive and compassionate pulmonary care for patients, both in person and virtually, to provide diagnosis and treatment for your lung disease. Contact us to learn how we can help you breathe better and live well.