OSF Saint Francis Medical Center

Peoria, Illinois

CT Scan

What is a CT scan?

ct-scan.jpg In a computerized tomography (CT) scan, also called a CAT scan, a computer combines x-ray images from different body angles to create a cross-section of tissues, organs and even blood vessels. OSF Saint Francis uses advanced technology that provides fast and
accurate images with the lowest dose of radiation exposure, thanks to the sophisticated dose-reduction software.

How to prepare for your CT scan

  • Pregnancy tests are required for females ages 11 through 55. Please be prepared to provide a urine sample upon your arrival at the testing facility. Your physician’s office should order this test.
  • If you have x-rays from another facility bring them with you, or request that your physician’s office send them.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Avoid wearing anything with metal, including zippers, snaps, jewelry, hearing aids, dentures and more.
  • You may be instructed to fast for four hours before the exam.
  • Some exams will require contrast material to enhance the CT images. This material can be swallowed, injected through an IV or inserted via enema.
  • In rare cases, patients experience allergic reactions to iodine-containing contrast material. Inform your physician if you have experienced such an allergy in the past. If so, pre-medication may be ordered by your physician prior to your exam.

Getting your results

In most cases, your imaging exam will be interpreted within 24 hours. Please keep in mind that your doctor’s office may need additional time to incorporate the report into your personal medical record.