A Chest CT scan utilizes IV contrast to illuminate vessels and organs within the chest cavity.
Who performs the procedure?
The procedure is performed by a CT Technologist with the assistance of a Radiologist.
Where is the procedure performed?
University Imaging Center
University of Maryland Professional Building, Suite 110
419 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
University of Maryland Medical Center
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, 2nd Floor
22 South Greene Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Are there any preps for this procedure?
Blood work, BUN and creatinine levels have to be drawn within 30 days. You should not eat or drink four hours prior to the procedure.
Why is this procedure performed?
A contrast material is commonly injected into a vein to better define the blood vessels arteries and organs inside your chest.
What can I expect before this procedure?
Once you arrive at UIC, you will have to register at the front desk. Please have your insurance information ready at this time. After registration, you will be escorted to a dressing room to put on a gown if you have any metal on your clothing. The Technologist will ask you if you have any allergies, especially to medications or iodine, and whether you have a history of diabetes, asthma, a heart condition, kidney problems or thyroid conditions. These conditions may indicate a higher risk of reaction to the contrast material or potential problems eliminating the material from the patient's system after the exam.
What can I expect during this procedure?
You will be lying on the CT table and the CT Technologist will start an IV line so he or she can administer the contrast media. There will be a scan of your chest without the contrast media and then the contrast media will be administered through your IV line and the scan will be repeated. Some people report feeling a flush of heat and sometimes a metallic taste in the back of the mouth. These sensations usually disappear within a minute or two. Some people experience a mild itching sensation. If it persists or is accompanied by hives -- small bumps on the skin -- the itch can be treated easily with medication. In very rare cases, a patient may become short of breath or experience swelling in the throat or other parts of the body. These can be indications of a more serious reaction to the contrast material that should be treated promptly, so tell the technologist immediately if you experience these symptoms. Fortunately, with the safety of the newest contrast materials, these adverse effects are very rare.
How long is the procedure?
The scans are approximately 35 seconds each, but plan on being with us for about 20 minutes.
What can I expect after this procedure?
After the procedure,the results are sent to your doctor and you may resume normal activity. Drink plenty of clear liquids after the procedure.
Are there any risks with this procedure?
There is a very low risk that one may have from the exposure to radiation. CT emits a very low dose of radiation. There is also a very small risk of a reaction to the IV contrast.
Are there any alternatives to this procedure?
A MRI and X-ray are both alternatives to this procedure.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Please contact a UIC Receptionist at 410-328-3225 to schedule an appointment.
This page was last updated: December 20, 2013