Computed Tomography

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We are proud to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services in Pasadena and Glendora, California, and surrounding counties.


What happens during CT angiography?

Before the x rays are taken, the contrast material will be injected into a vein in your arm or hand using an automatic injector machine, which controls the timing and rate of injection. The machine may continue to inject contrast dye into your vein throughout the test. The contrast material may make you feel flushed and warm, and it sometimes can produce a mildly sick-to-your-stomach sensation.

You will need to lie very still on the scan table that slides into the gantry, which is the donut-shaped device that houses the scanning equipment, in order to get the best quality images. The machine is quiet and relatively open; only the part of the body being examined lies inside the gantry. As a CT technologist operates the scanning machine in another room, he or she watches and speaks to you through speakers in the CT scan room.

An x ray tube slides around the gantry, passing narrow beams of low-dosage x-rays in an arc over the body. These beams reflect onto a detector positioned opposite the x-ray source. After the x ray source completes an arc, the scanning table moves forward a small distance and the x ray source transmits another arc of x rays. CT angiographies use a type of machine called a spiral CT machine, which is able to record a large number of pictures--as many as 1,000 pictures in each arc -- in a short time. The detector transmits the x ray energy to a computer, which transforms the information about the reflected energy into a 3D image. To create images from different angles, the technologist may adjust the position of the scanning table.

You must remain very still as the CT scanning machine operates. The technologist may ask you to hold your breath for 10 to 25 seconds at a time, because even the motion of breathing can blur the images.

The entire procedure usually takes 15 minutes to complete.

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