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CT (Computed Tomography) » Chest
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Download PDF Patient BrochureWhat is CT Scanning of the Chest?
CT (computed tomography) of the chest is a highly specialized x-ray examination performed by a CT scanner and computer. The images generated by the computer can be printed out or examined on a monitor. The scanner provides more highly detailed images of the body's tissues and vessels than conventional x-rays. CT scanning of the chest is especially useful for simultaneously visualizing the lungs, heart, bones, soft tissues, muscle and blood vessels. It is useful for identifying lung disorders, such as tuberculosis, old and new pneumonia, tumors, emphysema, and diffuse interstitial lung disease.

How should I prepare for a CT Chest Scan? CT Lung Scan
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Metal objects can affect the image, so avoid clothing with zippers and snaps.
  • Inform your doctor or Radiologic Technologist if there is any possibility you are pregnant.
  • If available, please bring copies of previous scans if your exam is for the same area being imaged. (If your previous imaging was performed at Genesis, Radiology Group will retrieve your previous scans for you.)

It is important that you inform the Radiologic Technologist before your exam if:
  • You have asthma
  • You are allergic to any foods, medications, or contrast (dye)
  • You may be pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You are diabetic and taking Glucophage (metformin)

What will the exam be like?
You will lie on a firm table that slowly moves inside the donut-shaped CT scanner. The table will move into the open center of the donut as the x-rays are being taken. In order to obtain the best images possible, you will be asked to lie very still during the scanning and hold your breath for brief periods. If holding your breath is not possible you will be asked to breathe quietly and regularly.

You will be alone in the room during the scan, however, the Radiologic Technologist can see, hear and speak with you at all times.

How long will the exam take?
A CT chest scan takes approximately 10 minutes from the time you enter the CT suite until you leave. The actual scan time is less than 30 seconds. When the exam is completed you may be asked to wait until the Radiologist determines if more images are required.

Radiologist interpreting CT scans and chext x-raysWho interprets the results and how do I get them?
A Radiologist (a medical doctor specializing in diagnosing disease and injury using medical imaging technology) analyzes and interprets your exam within 24 hours. He/she dictates a Report of the findings and sends it to your physician. Your physician's office will inform you of your results. Due to the number of patients your physician serves, it may be 7 to 10 days before he/she is prepared to respond to your Report. To reduce waiting time, please bring copies of previous scans if your exam is for the same area being imaged.

Will my insurance cover the exam?
It is not possible for our office to determine individual coverage. Coverage for imaging tests is variable and depends on your insurance carrier, your plan, any exclusions, and sometimes the reasons for the examination. Prior to undergoing any imaging test, please call the number on the back of your insurance card to determine if it will be covered.

Who do I call if I have questions?
Contact us at (563) 359-3931

CT patient brochure (PDF)

Radiology Group
Radiology Imaging