CT is an important imaging method in cancer diagnostics and follow-up. It is also an indispensable tool for planning radiotherapy.
What happens during a CT scan?
During the scan, the patient lies on a table that moves inside the scanner’s ring-like gantry. The computer uses data on tissue density to generate image slices that serve as a basis for reconstructing various image planes. The images may also be manipulated using various grey-scale windows, which allows the precise assessment of anatomical structures in soft tissues and bones. Modern CT imaging is always three-dimensional.
Most commonly, diagnostic and follow-up assessments of the trunk are performed using an iodinated contrast medium injected in a vein. For the diagnosis of intestinal conditions, the patient should first drink a large amount of diluted contrast agent or water.
A CT scan is a quick process. The entire trunk can be scanned while the patient holds his or her breath. Overall, the examination takes about 15 minutes.
The CT scanner used at Docrates Cancer Center is a 24-slice Siemens SOMATOM Sensation. The scanner comprises a ring-like arch, called a gantry, containing detectors and an X-ray tube. The scanner bore is wide, 80 cm in diameter.
- Siemens Somatom Sensation Open CT scanner
- 24-slice diagnostic spiral CT unit
- 82 cm bore (FOV)
- Versatile image reconstruction and analysis software
- Virtual simulation for radiotherapy simulation together with the LAP laser system
- Respiratory gating
- DICOM interface to Docrates’ PACS archive