Computed tomography (CT) of the brain
A medical procedure called computer tomography of a brain or abbreviated CT, is one of the most informative ways to get a full clinical picture. At its core, is a type of x-ray examination, in which the received data is not shown as text or the curve of waves, and a simulated image of the internal structure and condition of the patient.
In order to examined thus, one need not specially prepared, and the procedure itself takes a few minutes, in-depth study of the use of contrast liquids – no more than 15-20 minutes. For this patient with a special syringe gradually fed a small amount of special substances, the injection is done into a vein in the arm and may cause a little discomfort. Because computed tomography of the brain shows different damage and pathology is most clearly, its implementation is prescribed in cases when you want to "see" what is happening in the patient's head "inside" for greater accuracy:
What is CT?
CT scan brain or CT scan is done very quickly – literally in three minutes, if using contrast – 15 minutes. This procedure has very few contraindications and limitations, and the results are ready the same day when the study was conducted – an hour later the scan is ready. Another question – the cost. Due to the use of modern equipment two minutes on the couch under the "supervision" of a computer can cost 4-5 thousand rubles.
What distinguishes CT from other types of the study of the brain?
First, for its clarity – the patient's condition is indicated by the three-dimensional virtual model, which can see all the problems the blood vessels and tissue, the increased areas and areas where the blood flow. All these data are written as layered images with option of considering your doctor of all its interesting moments.
Second, their limitations – they are almost there, with rare exception: for example, this type of diagnosis does not accept patients weighing more than 130 pounds because of the fragility of the equipment used and the calculated effects on the patient.
Thirdly, accuracy of scanners of the latest generation is so accurate that recognize pathology at any stage and are able to identify the presence of education or damage with millimeter precision.
Indications for CT
Your doctor may prescribe the passage of this examination to clarify the diagnosis in cases of dispute, and to search for a specific location of the damage or the development of pathology. In addition to consideration directly brain imaging includes a description of the damage to the tissues of the skull,facial tissues, blood vessels and nervous system. With regard to the detailed testimony, there is the following:
- Indications for CT scan in traumatic brain injury:
- Search disorders in bone tissue and damage assessment;
- Search of foreign bodies;
- Search hemorrhages and hematomas;
- Search and evaluation of swelling of the brain when it is concussed;
- Search displacement of brain structures.
- Indications for CT scan for suspected pathology:
- Search and evaluation of brain tumors (if there are contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging);
- Search and evaluation of the cyst in the brain (if there are contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging);
- Search and evaluation of circulatory disorders, consequences and prerequisites for strokes of all types;
- Search and evaluation of the abscess.
However, despite the fact that you assign the passage of the tomography can only be a doctor, the patient has every right to ask him to make such a direction on its own initiative, if the patient has the following symptoms:
- Prolonged intense pain as a consequence of the injury;
- Intense headaches immune to painkillers;
- Blurred vision with dizziness and vomiting;
- Disorders in the sensory organs.
Contraindications for CT scan
A CT scan of the brain allowed for all except pregnant women due to the lack of studies of the influence on their condition of x-ray waves, and obese patients with body weight more than 130 kg.
For CT with contrast contra-indications for several more. This procedure can not be performed for those who have problems with the kidneys and liver who are diagnosed with diabetes or those who have hypersensitivity to the components of contrast agents, e.g. iodine.
Fortunately, nursing mothers we have similar diagnosis, but not to breast feed the baby, this day is not recommended.
Preparation for imaging and the procedure itself
There are no special recommendations for patients who should undergo CT scan and it takes little time and is fairly harmless for any serious preparations.
Doctors recommend patients to refrain from eating or drinking immediately before the procedure, preferably two hours before her. Also be sure before you lie down on the couch, you will need to remove all metal objects, jewellery. If the patient has implants made of metal, it is necessary to warn the doctors.
As for what to take with them to complete the clinical picture can take the test results and his medical records.
The procedure is quite simple: the patient lies on the couch, his moving along the ring of the device,which rotates in a given program. If research is conducted with the introduction of the contrast, the elbow will be in a special way attached to the syringe, gradually introducing a dye into a vein. After half an hour after the procedure to obtain the documents about the study, including in electronic form.
What distinguishes a CT from an MRI?
Despite the fact that doctors constantly compare the benefits of such research methods as computer and magnetic resonance imaging, they are fundamentally different. CT collects data and shows how does the physical structure, while MRI can create differences in the chemical composition of tissues.
For patients more than a financial issue – an MRI is much more expensive and out of reach for people than computer analysis. Sometimes doctors prescribe both studies, but it is better to consult directly with a radiologist, as both types of imaging have different information content, but high cost.
In some cases it is better to get an MRI?
- The study aimed at studying the soft tissues;
- The study of focal lesions of the structures;
- The study of diffuse lesions of the structures;
- The study of tumors, inflammations, consequences of multiple sclerosis and stroke;
- A study of the pituitary gland and orbit, the state of the intracranial nerves;
- The study of muscle tissue;
- Determination of the stage of the cancer;
- The spinal cord and cartilage;
- Allowed to those who have intolerance to contrast agents.
In some cases it is better to be a CT?
- The study of the skull base;
- The study of intracranial hematomas and cranial trauma;
- Research on the impact of traumatic brain injuries;
- The study of tumors and circulatory disorders in the brain;
- Bone lesions of the skull, sinuses, glands;
- Definition of defeat of blood vessels atherosclerosis and aneurysm;
- Permitted for claustrophobic patients in serious condition, people in a poor state of consciousness.
In any case, what procedure would not have been assigned, we need to warn doctors if the patient in the body have metal parts, implants, dental crowns and bridges without the possibility to remove staples and clips, filters. It is necessary for patient safety – when exposed to x-ray the best metal heats up and can greatly burn patient, despite the fact that conventional tomography takes only two minutes. Even a single session in this case may be dangerous to life and health.
Moreover, doctors should warn about any implants, even those that don't havemetal parts, no matter where they were, as the distortion of the normal clinical picture given by the device, without informing the staff may be taken for pathology.