Computed Tomography (CT Scan)
With computed tomography (also called CT or CAT scan), the x-ray
beam moves in a circle around the body.
This allows for many different
views of the same organ or structure, and provides much greater detail.
The information is sent to a computer which interprets the data and displays it in two-dimensional form on a monitor.
CT scans may be done with or without contrast. "Contrast" refers to a
substance taken by mouth or injected into an intravenous (IV) line that
causes the particular organ or tissue being studied to be seen more
clearly. If your physician schedules a CT scan of the heart or chest and decides
to use contrast dye, you may need to be fasting, nothing by mouth, for a
period of time prior to the procedure. You will receive instructions
about this from your physician or another healthcare professional.