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Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging provides CT exams on the Mass General main campus and at convenient community locations. No matter which facility you come to, our staff places priority on making your journey through the imaging process comfortable, safe, and successful. All images are read by a radiologist with specialty expertise in the area of the body being studied.
CT in depth
What is a CT scan?
A CT (computed tomography) scan is a noninvasive medical test that uses special X-ray equipment to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body and a computer to join them together in cross-sectional views of the area being studied. CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity than conventional X-ray exams.
CT scanning is commonly used to diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.
CT examinations improve health care and are an essential part of diagnosis and treatment planning. However, there are some risks associated with the level of radiation exposure during a CT and therefore the medical benefit of conducting the exam should always outweigh any risks involved. No direct data have shown that CT examinations are associated with an increased risk of cancer; extrapolations from studies of radiation exposure suggest there is a very small incremental risk.
At Mass General Imaging, we pay special attention to minimizing radiation exposure—without giving up image quality. Radiation reduction has long been a priority for our entire staff, including radiologists, the technologists who administer most exams, researchers, and equipment engineers. We use many strategies to reduce radiation exposure, from employing the latest technology to customizing exams for each patient.
What should I expect BEFORE my CT scan?
What will I experience DURING my CT scan?
What should I expect AFTER my CT scan?
Stroke, also called brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted.
In its July 2013 issue, Scientific American highlights the unique work of two Mass General researchers in their quest to reduce CT radiation dose.
Multiple studies have examined the benefits and risks of CT scans. Read the latest coverage on the issue in USA Today.
Immediate health risks supersede lifetime radiation-induced cancer risk in patients undergoing CT surveillance for testicular cancer, according to a new study.
Dushyant Sahani, MD, Director of CT at Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging, answers parents’ questions on the June 2012 study in The Lancet that found that children who get several CT scans have a slightly higher chance of brain cancer and leukemia in later life.
It's imperative that radiologists proactively find ways to keep radiation dose to a minimum, and healthcare IT can help, according to Dr. James H. Thrall, who spoke on the topic this week at the New York Medical Imaging Informatics Symposium.
Continuing Mass General Imaging's leadership role in reducing CT radiation, radiologists from Mass General have co-authored a journal article summarizing methods for dose optimization in head CT scans.
Using cadavers, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are testing and customizing CT protocols to dramatically cut the dosage needed for live patients by as much as half the reference levels nationally.
Announcing the Webster Center, a research effort devoted not only to reducing radiation exposure for our patients but also to sharing our methods with the world.
Two Mass General experts talk about what patients need to know when their doctor suggests a CT scan.
Adaptive image filters can lower the patient radiation associated with chest and abdominal computed tomography (CT) scans while significantly improving image quality, according to a study by Mass General researchers.
Mass General study suggests the use of CT scans and MRI might shorten the length of a person's hospital stay.
New clinical decision support tools help doctors decide whether or not a CT scan is necessary based on medical evidence.
Steps local hospitals are taking to keep patients safe.
The FDA puts its regulatory muscle behind a growing movement to make life-saving medical radiation—both diagnostic and therapeutic—safer.
In many cases, the benefits of these tests—in finding cancers, aneurysms or blood clots—far outweigh the relatively low risks of radiation.
As many as two-thirds of adults underwent a medical test in the last few years that exposed them to radiation and in some cases, a potentially higher risk of cancer, a study in five areas of the US suggests.
There is no reason to create obtrusive coverage policies that will block access to these lifesaving tools that are truly transforming care for millions of patients.
Get an inside look at CT exams at Mass General Imaging. Learn about CT technology, the professionals who guide patients through the exam process, and the specialty-trained radiologists who interpret every scan.
Dr. James H. Thrall, Department of Radiology chairman emeritus, discusses The Webster Center for Advanced Research and Education in Radiation, a unique research effort dedicated to reducing radiation dose for every exam Mass General Imaging performs.
As CT (computed tomography) technology has transformed the practice of medicine, Mass General Imaging has dedicated itself to making sure each exam exposes the patient to the lowest achievable amount of radiation. Department of Radiology Chairman Emeritus James H. Thrall, MD, discusses our decade-long commitment—and our success—regarding this issue.
One effective way to reduce radiation exposure is to avoid unnecessary exams. That's why Mass General Imaging has been a leader in developing software tools that guide referring physicians by not only making sure the selected exam matches the patient's needs but also suggesting radiation-free alternatives when appropriate.
Each radiologist at Mass General Imaging is a specialist in a particular area of the body. Department of Radiology Chairman Emeritus James H. Thrall, MD, explains how patients benefit from the additional specialty training our physicians have completed.
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