A chest CT (computed tomography) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the chest and upper abdomen.
Thoracic CT; CT scan - lungs; CT scan - chest
How the Test is Performed
The test is done in the following way:
- You'll likely be asked to change into a hospital gown.
- You lie on a narrow table that slides into the center of the scanner. Once you are inside the scanner, the machine's x-ray beam rotates around you.
- You must be still during the exam, because movement causes blurred images. You may be told to hold your breath for short period of time.
The complete scan takes 30 seconds to a few minutes.
Certain CT scans require a special dye, called contrast, to be delivered into the body before the test starts. Contrast highlights specific areas inside the body and creates a clearer image. If your doctor requests a CT scan with intravenous contrast, you will be given it through a vein (IV) in your arm or hand. A blood test to measure your kidney function may be done before the test. This test is to make sure your kidneys are healthy enough to filter the contrast.
You may be given medicine to help you relax during the test.