IMAGING: LOW-DOSE CT
COMMON QUESTIONS
Q.
What are the risks of a CT?
A.
This procedure is extremely safe, though it does use radiation to produce the images. At Oregon Imaging Centers, we use the least amount of radiation by utilizing a “low dose” technology which decreases the radiation exposure by up to 70%.
Q.
Why did my doctor order a CT if radiation is a concern?
A.
CT is a valuable diagnostic tool that uses radiation to peer into the body and produce 3-D images. Based on your symptoms or the area being scanned, a CT scan will provide your doctor with the most detailed information.
Q.
What steps do you take to reduce radiation?
A.
We adhere to the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principle, using tools that automatically adjust the radiation dosage based on body type and anatomy. As part of that commitment, we invested in a new technology called iDose that lowers the amount of radiation patients receive by 50% to 70%. The amount of radiation you receive varies by body type and the anatomic region being scanned. Your CT technologist can estimate your radiation dose at the time of your scan. If you had the same CT scan at Oregon Imaging Centers prior to our iDose, your technologist can determine the percentage of radiation reduction.
Q.
Does iDose technology apply to Cardiac CT Angiograms (CCTAs)?
A.
For CCTAs, Oregon Imaging Centers offers a technology called Step & Shoot Cardiac, which reduces radiation by up to 80%. Step & Shoot allows us to capture images when the heart is at rest, or in between beats – the most desirable time to capture data. In other words, the CT scan takes snapshots of the heart at precisely the right time instead of taking a video for the full scan time.
Q.
Is there an IV involved with the CT?
A.
Depending on your physician’s request, you may receive an “intravenous contrast,” which is needed for many exams.
Q.
How should I prepare for my CT?
A.
You will receive instructions when you schedule your appointment. You can also refer to the “prep” section of the website. Be sure to review the instructions for your particular study, as they can vary based on type of study.