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Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed tomography (CT) has been used for aiding in diagnoses at Duke Regional Hospital since 1978. The CT scanner uses a combination of x-rays and computers to create cross-sectional images of the body.

A simple analogy to describe how a CT scanner works compares with slicing a loaf of bread. The body part to be examined is scanned in sections like slices in a loaf of bread. One slice at a time is displayed.

The patient feels nothing but a table moving in small increments through a big round hole. This is not a tunnel, but a hole that is open on both sides. The scanner will not touch the patient or impair his or her breathing during the procedure.

CT scans can be ordered on any body part. CT examinations are routinely performed on the head, the chest, abdomen, pelvis, extremities, and blood vessels within the body.

CT with X-Ray Contrast

Most abdomen or pelvis studies require that the patient drink an oral prep prior to the procedure. Some studies require an injection of x-ray contrast. This is an iodinated "clear" liquid material.

This material temporarily changes the density of the blood vessels and the blood supply to the organs to enhance their appearance for better visualization. The radiologist determines if x-ray contrast is necessary.

Common sensations associated with an x-ray dye injection include: a cool sensation going up the arm that contains the IV, followed by a warm flushed sensation across the rest of the body, and a metallic taste in the mouth.

The contrast dyes currently used in the x-ray department rarely cause these sensations, and some patients feel nothing at all. In very rare events, some patients become nauseated. All of these sensations only last about a minute or so and then disappear.

Sophisticated Technology for Advanced Imaging

In 2010, Duke Regional Hospital became equipped with two 64-slice CT scanners, which allow radiologists to image the heart, brain, or lungs in only a few seconds.

Capabilities of these new scanners include CT angiography, which enables physicians to view arteries in the brain, heart, and peripheral vascular system in greater detail than before; and CT brain perfusion studies to evaluate blood flow to the brain in potential stroke patients.

The CT scanners may also be used to image vessels in the legs to look for blood clots. Both scanners are also bariatric rated, with larger bores and high capacity tables able to accommodate patients up to 660 pounds.

The scanners are equipped with technological advances which enable scans to be obtained with the best possible resolution at the lowest radiation dose allowable for diagnostic images.

Contact Us

CT scans are offered from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday. To schedule an appointment, call 919-470-5272 and ask for Duke Regional Hospital.

Physicians

Physicians offering this service include: