CT (Computed Tomography) scans are also often referred to as CAT( Computed Axial Tomography) scans although CT is now preferred, ostensibly because other orientations are now available. ( I am personally convinced however that it is because healthcare professionals became sick of everyone making jokes involving felines at every available opportunity).

I have created this node as separate from cat scans since the contents of that node consist mainly of the aforementioned attempts at humour and the one 'factual' entry mistakenly equates CT with MRI

MRI ( magnetic resonance imaging) is an application of NMR( nuclear magnetic resonance) used for imaging soft tissues and is a vastly different technique from CT which makes use of multiple X-Rays to build up a computed image of the body.

A CT scanner consists of a ring device that surrounds the patient and contains a moveable x-ray source with an electronic x-ray sensor on exactly the opposite side of the circle. X-rays are sent through the body from the source to the sensor from every angle of orientation around the patient. A computer mathematically calculates the x-ray density of each of several million tiny locations in a given "slice" through the body and then displays the resulting image for interpretation

The patient is often given a contrast containing iodine in order to enhance the resulting image. This may be administered in a drink taken approximately an hour before the scan or via intravenous injection at the time of the scan. In a small number of cases this can cause a mild allergic reaction in the patient.

I had a CT Scan this morning as a follow-up from my trip to emergency ( see the daylog). The procedure basically consists of lying absolutely still and holding your breath for 20 seconds or so while the machine whirs, clicks and moves you back and forth. I was given an intravenous contrast which resulted in a very peculiar feeling indeed. For approximately 30 seconds a warm sensation washed through my body, starting at my head and shoulders and travelling down to envelop my whole body. The closest I can come to describing it is that it was similar to an adrenaline spike or strong anxiety attack without the increased pulse rate, hyperventilation or mental anguish. The doctor had warned me about it and assured me it was completely normal, but I would have to disagree - it may be usual but it was definitely not normal.

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