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CT Brain, Why It Is Done, Its Procedure And Risks

by Emma

A Brain CT is a diagnostic imaging technique which is a painless and non-invasive method. This processes x-rays/radiations to produce horizontal or axial images (often produced as slices). These scan images help your doctor to determine and diagnose various conditions related to the head and neck. During the Sanning, the x-ray beam moves around you in a circular motion that allows the machine to capture pictures of your brain in different views. The scanned information is then transmitted to the computer, the computer then processes and interprets the data and displays it on the monitor in a 2 dimensional form.

Why is a Brain CT Done?

Your doctor might order you a  brain CT

  • To detect any malformations present in your skull.
  • Assess any blood clots in brain or bleeding which might present as a stroke
  • To detect a stroke, this is determine by a special technique known as CT perfusion of the head
  • To detect any leaking aneurysm where the patient presents a sudden severe headache.
  • To visualise any tumours of brain
  • To diagnose hydrocephalus (enlarged brain cavities/ventricles)
  • Any skull fracture or other head injuries can be visualised
  • It helps evaluate the spread of head or facial trauma which helps plan the surgical treatment
  • It can show any inflammation of sinuses like paranasal sinuses.
  • Any arteriovenous malformations or aneurysms can be seen by CT angiography.
  • To detect diseases of temporal bone which may causing hearing problems
  • It is often used to guide biopsy procedures
  • It can be helpful in planning radiation therapies

Before the CT Scan

You are usually given all the instructions in detail by your healthcare provider before the scan. Some are mentioned below

  • You will be asked to change your clothes and wear a hospital gown instead for the scanning
  • You are not allowed to wear any jewellery and dare suggested to leave all the essentials at home
  • If you are to have contrast based CT scan, you will be asked to sign a consent form that mentions the uses and potential side effects of the contrast medium
  • If you are to have a contrast based study, you will be asked to not eat anything 4-6 hours before the scan, although you can drink clear fluids like water. If You are having a NCCT, you can continue your daily eating and drinking schedule.
  • If you have any health condition like diabetes or kidney problems, you are asked to eat a light food and to inform your doctor. it is possible that you will be asked to discontinue your diabetic medication 48 hours after your scan.

During the Scan

  • To start with you are asked to lay n a scan table
  • You are asked to o remain still during the procedure
  • Sometimes a contrast dye is injected into your vein either in hand or arm.
  • While the contrast dye is getting injected, you might feel a warm sensation all over your body. It is normal
  • But if during contrast administration you feel itching, sneezing, difficulty breathing, swelling in face or scratchy throat, you should immediately tell your technologist. These can be a sign of an allergic reaction which needs to be managed immediately.
  • The scan machine moves in circles around you to collect the scan data.
  • The whole process takes about 15-30 minutes.

After the Scan

  • You can continue your daily activities unless otherwise guided
  • If you had a contrast based study, you will be asked to drink plenty of water (8-10 glasses) to help the dye get flushed out of your body faster.
  • The reports are usually prepared and sent to your doctor within 48 hours

What Are the Risks Associated With a CT Scan?

  • CT scan uses radiation, which can cause some potential tissue damage, although the risk is very low and is minimised even more by following safety protocols/guidelines.
  • If you are pregnant the foetus is more susceptible to radiation and can develop some birth defects. However any radiation based scans are avoided during pregnancy and for children or safety measures are taken if necessarily to be done
  • Sometimes a contrast based study is done which can cause some allergic reactions. Like itching, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing etc. sometimes a life threatening reaction can happen which is called anaphylactic shock. This is why it is important to inform your healthcare provider about the first allergic sign you face so as to stop its progression.

Conclusion

Brain stands as the master of the whole body. Any diseases or disorders pertaining to the head can hamper the lifestyle and quality of life all together. Hence it becomes very important to find out and treat any abnormality happening in the brain. Best diagnostic centre in Delhi offers a precise reading and 100% reliability in their reports. Get yourself diagnosed timely to spend time free mindedly.

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