Computed tomography – Process, benefits and alternatives
Computed tomography - what is involved?
Computed tomography should actually be called X-ray computed tomography, as CT is a computer-aided X-ray examination. In contrast to the "classic" X-ray, which only captures a two-dimensional image on the X-ray film, computed tomography provides cross-sectional images of the body, from which three-dimensional images are generated, not only to detect various diseases, but also to determine the position and extent of abnormal changes.
Computed tomography – when?
Today, computed tomography is integral to clinics and doctor’s offices. It is used for a huge range of diagnoses and monitoring the progress of treatments, for clarification with regard to a suspected tumour, stroke, slipped disc, bone fracture, examinations of the coronary vessels as well as, for example, the early detection of bowel cancer. X-ray images of the chest are frequently supplemented or replaced by thorax computed tomography (Thorax CT).
Computed tomography – how?
With regard to today’s conventional spiral computed tomography, the patient is pushed through the device, while the X-ray tube continually rotates round the patient. The examination is normally carried out in the supine position on the CT table and it takes between a few seconds and 15 minutes at most. Cross-sectional images in any desired plane of the X-rayed body region can be generated from the recorded data. For example, an image of the chest is a Thorax CT. The computer can convert the single cuts into a three-dimensional image.
For certain procedures, contrast agents are used, which are administered to the patient either via the vein or the mouth. This can additionally increase the validity of the computed tomography.
Computed tomography – are there alternatives?
In comparison to CT, ultrasound (sonography) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have the advantage that they do not expose the patient to X-rays. In fact, today, some examinations which have long been the domain of computed tomography preferably carried out by MRI. Each patient must make an individual decision on which imaging method is best suited. Because: CT, MRI, classic X-ray and ultrasound are not interchangeable. Computed tomography is often used when "more gentle" methods have reached their limits.
Computed tomography – why at the Wiener Privatklinik?
The Wiener Privatklinik not only offers you some of Vienna’s best medical specialists, but also specialists and the necessary technical diagnostic equipment for all examinations, which may be required if a disease is suspected as a result of the computed tomography. It also offers the best specialists for the immediate treatment of such diseases. Early detection and timely treatment at the highest level are the best guarantee for a long, pain-free life.
You can obtain more detailed information on computed tomography from our telephone info-line or by email. All contact details can be found on our Contact page.