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CT Head

A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create image slices of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissue inside your body. CT scan images provide more detailed information than plain X-rays do.

Depending on what your doctor is looking for, this test may be ordered with or without IV contrast.

What are Intravenous Contrast (IV) Media?

In order to see the blood vessels and body tissues on the scan, the technologist must inject contrast media into a vein. Some people refer to this as "dye" although it's not like the dye you might use at home. These contrast media are liquid solutions that contain iodine and show up on X-rays. It is removed from the body through the kidneys, but will not change the color of your urine.

What to Bring

  • Your physician order (your physician may have already sent this to us)
  • Personal ID
  • Insurance Card
  • Medication List
  • Any required screening forms

How to Prepare

  • You should inform your physician if you have any allergies to contrast materials.
  • You should not eat or drink for 3 hours before you exam. (your normal medications are ok)
  • Please leave valuable jewelry at home.
  • If there is any possibility that you are pregnant, you should inform the technologist.
  • If you have a history of kidney problems, you should inform the technologist.
  • If you have had an adverse reaction during a prior CT, you should inform the technologist.
  • If you are wearing an on-body medication pump, you should inform the technologist.

What to Expect

  • This is a non-invasive exam.
  • During the exam you will be placed on a table and positioned inside the center of a large ring-like scanner. The machine makes a minimal amount of noise and the table moves forward and backward. The study is not painful.
  • You may be asked to remove jewelry, glasses, and any metal objects that may interfere with the images.
  • If your doctor ordered IV contrast, the technologist will start an IV in a vein in your arm. The contrast will be injected through the IV and may make you feel warm or flushed.
  • Please allow 30 minutes from registration to completion of test.

Screening Forms for this Test

None required