MSCT – CT Scan

Multislice computed tomography (MSCT) is an advanced CT scanning technology that enables faster and more accurate images of internal organs. With the ability to simultaneously display multiple layers of tissue, MSCT provides important information about anatomy and pathology. This technique is often used in the diagnosis of cardiovascular problems, lung diseases, traumatic injuries and many other conditions.

CT (computed tomography) is a type of radiological imaging. Similar to an X-ray, it shows the structures inside your body. However, instead of creating a flat, two-dimensional image, a CT scan takes dozens or even hundreds of images. To get these images, the CT machine takes X-rays as it rotates around the patient.

Doctors use CT scans to see things that plain X-rays can’t show. For example, body structures overlap on plain X-rays and many things are not visible. A CT scan shows the details of each of your organs for a clearer and more accurate view.

MSCT is used to examine the lungs and chest, enlargement of blood vessels (aneurysms), abdomen, urinary tract, internal bleeding, skeletal system, intestines, spine, brain.

Low-dose MSCT or LDCT (low-dose CT) has a key role in lung cancer screening. Lung cancer screening is the detection of lung cancer at a very early stage, when the probability of cure is incomparably higher. Unfortunately, due to the lack of nerve endings and pain receptors in the lungs, lung cancer is usually detected in the late stages of the disease when the chances of cure are quite low. By the time lung cancer signs and symptoms appear, it’s usually too late. Studies show that screening for lung cancer drastically reduces the risk of dying from this form of cancer.

Who should consider screening?

Lung cancer screening is usually recommended for people at highest risk for lung cancer, including:

  • Older adults who currently smoke or have smoked in the past. Lung cancer screening is usually offered to smokers and ex-smokers who are 50 years of age or older. Persons who have smoked in large quantities for many years. Lung cancer screening may be considered if you have a smoking history of 20 years or more. Pack-years are calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes you smoke per day by the number of years you have smoked. For example, a person with a 20 pack-year smoking history might have smoked a pack a day for 20 years, two packs a day for 10 years, or half a pack a day for 40 years.
  • People who used to smoke heavily, but have stopped. If you have been a heavy smoker for a long period of time and have stopped within the last 15 years, you may want to consider screening for lung cancer.
  • People with a history of lung cancer. If you were treated for lung cancer more than five years ago, you may consider lung cancer screening.
  • People with other risk factors for lung cancer.
  • People who have other risk factors for lung cancer may include those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, those with a family history of lung cancer, and those who have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace.

If you are doing a CT scan of the abdomen and/or small pelvis, you should not eat 4 hours before the examination, and you should drink a couple of glasses of water half an hour before the examination. If the examination requires the use of a contrast dye, it is necessary to perform blood tests – urea and creatinine.