Computed Tomography (CT)

ARA Health partners with Mission Health to offer the best of the best in CT technology. Our subspecialty-trained radiologists continually have an eye toward the latest innovations to ensure our patients have access to state-of-the-art imaging paired with advanced care and communication platforms, streamlining delivery of results and possible treatment plans.

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About Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed tomography (CT) uses X-rays and computers to create highly detailed cross-sectional images of a patient's internal organs, bones, and blood vessels. This technology produces multiple images of a single focal area, providing radiologists with several vantage points as they work with other specialists and care teams to find answers for each patient. CT is a reliable tool for detecting and accurately diagnosing a variety of conditions and abnormalities.

CT technology is commonly used in the following imaging studies:

Calcium Scoring
Calcium scoring utilizes CT to evaluate the amount of calcified (hardened) plaque in a person's arteries and determine the likelihood of a heart attack. Physicians compare the findings to other patients of the same sex and similar age, ultimately quantifying the patient's risk for a cardiac event. 

Coronary Angiography
A coronary angiogram uses CT to provide visual images of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, creating three-dimensional images that reveal the presence both hard and soft plaque. This information can help determine a patient's risk for heart attack and/or help care teams manage a patient's coronary artery disease (CAD). 

Colonography
CT colonography (also known as virtual colonoscopy) generates detailed images of the colon, rectum, and surrounding organs. This test can sometimes be used instead of a colonoscopy to help detect cancers, polyps, inflammation, or diverticula.

Lung Cancer Screening
Low-dose CT lung cancer screenings produce multiple high-quality images that can facilitate the detection of many lung diseases and conditions. This test is most often utilized for patients with a high risk of developing lung cancer but no signs or symptoms of disease.

› Learn more about screening for lung cancer.

You have questions. We have answers.

Below you'll find answers to some of the questions we are commonly asked by patients. Please contact our ARA Cares Coordinator at (828) 436-5500 with any additional questions or concerns.

How do I prepare for the CT scan?
Be ready to provide an accurate medical history when your appointment is scheduled, including prior medical conditions and any history of allergic reaction to CT contrast material. A blood test may be required in some cases to evaluate renal function. On the day of your appointment, please stick to clear liquids (water, tea, coffee (no cream), soft drinks, Jello (no fruit), apple juice, cranberry juice, ice popsicles) for six hours prior to the exam. Please leave all jewelry at home.
What can I expect during the CT scan?
A CT technologist will guide you through the procedure and talk to you via intercom throughout the study. You will lie on a padded table that moves through a doughnut-shaped scanner. It's important to lie very still and follow the technologist's instructions to ensure quality images are generated. You may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time. The scan itself typically lasts less than a minute, but patient's can expect to be in the scanner room for 10 - 20 minutes.