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Your doctor has requested a computed tomography scan (CT or CAT) of your chest. High-resolution CT technology uses a narrow X-ray beam and advanced computer analysis to create very detailed pictures of your body, allowing physicians to see small details that would not be possible with an older, tradiational CT. Cedars-Sinai's S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center has a team of specialists who take and interpret chest CTs. Our team of expert physicians, nurses and technologists is led by Cindy Kallman, MD, Chief, Body CT.
Before Arriving for Your Exam
Right: Chest CT image
If you are diabetic and take Glucophage, please ask for clearance from your referring physician before your exam.
If your CT exam includes a contrast dye, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything four hours before your exam. Not all scans use a contrast dye. In those that do, the dye is given through an injection. The dye improves the image quality by highlighting certain structures, such as arteries, and making them more visible on the scan.
Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home and wear comfortable clothing.
Although we do not anticipate any delay in your scheduled appointment, we recommend that you bring a book, magazine, or music player to help pass any time that you may have to wait.
A radiology nurse or technologist will ask you a few questions regarding your medical history.
If you are receiving contrast, a nurse or technologist will insert a small IV in your arm.
Please tell the technologist, radiology nurse and/or physician of any allergies you may have before your exam.
During Your Exam
While positioning you on the exam table, the technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have.
If contrast dye is being used, it will be injected through your IV.
During the injection, you may experience a warm sensation all over your body and a metal taste in your mouth. This is normal.
If you experience any itching, sneezing, nasal congestion, scratchy throat or swelling of your face, please notify the technologist immediately.
Most often, you will be asked to lie flat on your back with your arms over your head. Some scans may require you to be positioned on your side or stomach.
The table you are on will slide into the scanner. The scanner is open at the back and the front, allowing you to see out. The technologist will always be able to see and hear you during your exam.
You will be asked to hold very still and at times to hold your breath.
This procedure usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
After Your Exam
There are no restrictions placed on you after this procedure. You may eat or drive as normal.
If you received an injection of contrast dye, you should drink six to eight glasses of water to flush it out of your system.
Your study will be read by an imaging physician who specializes in the interpretation of CT scans. The results will be sent to your physician, usually within 48 hours.
Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.
To request copies of your pictures on a PC-compatible CD or a copy of your report, please call (310) 423-8000.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (310) 423-8000.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.