CAT (Computed Axial Tomography), also known as Scanner, is a technique that uses x-rays to obtain high-resolution imagery of anatomical cuts that allow us to identify structures depending on the quality of recording. These images are processed on a computer from where a specialist will interpret the results.
These images can then be obtained in digital format on CDs, or printed on x-rays.
Does it require the use of any drugs?
Most CATs require an iodinated contrast to be administered via cannula into a brachial vein. This medication allows the study to be more accurate.
If there is a history of allergic reaction, it should be brought to the attention of doctor who requested the test and to the radiologist.
How should the patient prepare themselves for the examination?
If the study is to be performed with contrast, the patient should not have had anything to eat in the previous 6 hours, although they can take fluids moderately until one hour before the test.
Are there any reported contraindications?
The only risks are related to the use of ionizing radiation and iodinated contrast, in cases of allergy to them. The test can be conducted on pregnant women but only if strictly necessary, in order not to damage the fetus.
How long does it take?
The duration will depend on the speed of the equipment (currently these devices, known as helicoidal CTs are very quick), and on the part of the body to be studied (abdominal, respiratory, digestive, urological apparatus …). Usually the entire examination takes no longer than 15 minutes.
When can the patient collect the results?
The results can be collected once they have been examined by a specialist radiologist within 3 working days.