CT of the Head

What is a computed tomography (CT) scan?

A computed tomography (CT) scan is a noninvasive exam that, compared with a standard X-ray, provides enhanced clarity and detail.

Why has my physician ordered this exam?

Your physician may call for this exam to assess you for a variety of conditions. Some of those are:

  • Brain tumor
  • Infection
  • Sinus disease
  • Stroke
  • Head trauma

In addition, your physician may order a CT of the head if you are experiencing:

  • Cognitive or behavioral changes
  • Headaches (when in tandem with specific other symptoms)

In many cases, IV iodinated contrast media may be a necessary part of the test, to help ensure accurate assessment of veins and arteries.

For patients in whom magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is contraindicated because they have aneurysm clips, metal implants, pacemakers, or pain stimulators, CT is a practical alternative.

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