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A CT (computed tomography) scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of your body and structures inside your body. A CT scan of the chest can give your doctor information about your lungs, your heart, and other structures in your chest.
During the test, you will lie on a table that is attached to the CT scanner. The CT scanner is a large doughnut-shaped machine.
A CT scan of the chest can help find problems such as infection, lung cancer, blocked blood flow in the lung (pulmonary embolism), and other lung problems. It also can be used to see if cancer has spread into the chest from another area of the body.
A low-dose CT scan is a different type of chest CT scan. It may be used as a lung cancer screening test for some smokers. Your age and how much you've smoked help your doctor decide if this would be a helpful test for you. This type of CT scan uses less radiation than a regular chest CT scan.
Talk to your doctor about all your health conditions before the test. For example, tell your doctor if:
The test will take about 30 to 60 minutes. Most of this time is spent getting ready for the scan. The actual test only takes a few minutes.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
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Current as of: December 19, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
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