Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

A computed tomography (CT) scan combines X-ray and computer technology to produce detailed cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues in your body, making it a highly effective diagnostic tool. CT scans are used to detect bone and joint problems, internal bleeding from injuries, tumors, infections, and brain injuries. 

CT scan services include:

  • Specialized and routine imaging techniques for body, musculoskeletal system and nervous system
  • Cardiac and coronary artery CT angiography studies
  • Brain perfusion scans
  • CT-guided biopsy to assess benign and malignant tumors
  • Pediatric CT procedures

The length of the exam will depend on the area to be scanned and the specific information your physicians need.

Please tell your physician or the CT staff if you:

  • Are pregnant, might be pregnant or are trying to get pregnant
  • Are allergic to contrast dye or iodine
  • Have known kidney disease
  • Have diabetes
  • Have had a problem with this exam (or other contrast exams) in the past

As with any treatment or test, discuss the risks and benefits of a CT scan with your physician.

Radiation safety

CT scans use X-rays to produce images used for diagnosis and treatment.

Northwestern Medicine is committed to safe and effective X-ray exposure using the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) philosophy.

This means that your scan will be done with the least amount of radiation possible using sophisticated advanced dose monitoring technology without reducing the diagnostic quality of the exam.

All of our scanners have been pre-programmed with the instructions specific for the body part being scanned, which also assists in radiation dose reduction.

American College of Radiology (ACR) accreditation

Our CT departments are proud to be an accredited facility of the American College of Radiology (ACR). Earning this designation means:

  • We have voluntarily gone through a rigorous review process to ensure that we meet nationally accepted standards.
  • Our staff is well qualified through education and certification to perform and interpret your imaging.
  • Our equipment is appropriate for the test or treatment you will receive.
  • Our facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety.
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