Image of a CT machine

Over the past several years, we have been dedicated to overhauling our entire inventory of CT (computed tomography) scanners and replacing all machines with the newest equipment available. This guarantees patients will be exposed to the smallest amount of radiation possible while still getting high quality images. ZP follows three principles which promise patient safety and low doses of radiation; ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable), Image Wisely, and Image Gently. Our commitment to these principles is reflected by the patent awarded to Dr. Steven Mendelsohn, CEO of Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology, in 2012 for a CT dose card (US Patent #: US8,281,996B2). This card was given to every patient after their scan to inform patients of the radiation dose they were exposed to during their test. Now this number is generated on every report so doctors and patients are kept informed.

Image of a CT machine with a person in it.

CT scans use X-rays taken from multiple angles as a patient is moved through the opening of the machine. An X-ray tube and high resolution digital detector rotate very fast inside the machine’s opening to obtain pictures from all different angles and produce detailed images of bones, soft tissue, organs, and blood vessels. The rotation of these parts is internal and cannot be detected by the patient. The images produced from a CT scan are significantly more detailed than a traditional X-ray. It is considered an essential tool to assess acute brain trauma, kidney stones, and other conditions.

Image of a CT scan

The CT scanner takes many very thin 2-dimensional pictures, which the computer can assemble into 3-dimensional images. This allows the doctor to look layer by layer at the area being scanned and provides greater detail to aid in the diagnostic process.

Many CT scans require the use of a contrast dye. The contrast may be given in a drink that you consume prior to the scan or administered during the scan through an I.V. The contrast highlights certain parts of your body and helps to provide the sharpest images available.

Image of a woman in a CT machine

First the technologist ensures that you have no metal on your body, and reviews your medical history with you. You are then asked to lie on the scanning table which is moved into the center of the machine, and asked to stay as still as possible to ensure the clearest images. Most exams last only a few minutes, depending on the body part.

The exam is non-invasive and the machine never touches your body. The technologist is available via intercom should the patient have any concerns during the exam.

You must remove all jewelry and any other metallic objects such as hearing aids, jeans with metal zippers, body piercings, and removable dental work. Wearing a sweatsuit with no metal may prevent you from having to change into a gown.

Additional prep CT with I.V. contrast

Have nothing to eat 1 hour prior to your exam time. You may drink clear liquids (example: water, ginger ale, apple juice). Keep hydrated before and after your exam.

If you have impaired kidney function, are diabetic, or are 70 years of age or older, we will perform an i-STAT creatinine level at the time of your exam to assess your kidney function. It is important to inform us if you are taking the medication hydroxyurea when making your appointment.

Additional prep CT with oral contrast

If you are receiving oral contrast, please pick up the contrast kit the day before your exam. If you are receiving Omnipaque oral contrast, refer to the Omnipaque oral contrast section below. If you are receiving Redi-CAT oral contrast, please ask your Zwanger-Pesiri representative for those specific instructions.

Omnipaque oral contrast prep for CT scan

Do not take if you have an iodine allergy.

Begin drinking the Omnipaque oral prep 1 hour and 40 minutes before your exam, and finish within 15-20 minutes of starting the drink.

To prepare the contrast drink:

  1. Pour HALF the contents of the Ominpaque bottle into the 32 oz. cup that was given to you.
  2. Fill the cup with water up to approximately 1/2 inch from the top of the cup (approximately 30 oz).
  3. Stir well and drink.
  4. Discard the cup, contrast bottle and straw after use.
ACR compuuted tomography accredited facility as well as a participant in image wisely

Learn about Different Types of CT Exams

Coronary CT Angiography

A Coronary CTA is a radiological test that is used to create detailed three dimensional images of the blood vessels in your heart, coronary arteries, heart chambers, coronary arteries and pulmonary veins. Patients who are at risk of having blockages in the arteries can benefit from a CCTA scan, such as those with a family history of heart disease. A CCTA is faster, less invasive and lower risk than an invasive catheterization.

Image of an example CT Angiography

Cardiac Calcium Scoring

A calcium scoring is a non-invasive way to view your coronary arteries and it helps identify the location and extent of calcified plaque. Plaque can narrow arteries, reduce blood flow to the heart and increase the risk of a heart attack. A Calcium Scoring is usually performed during a CCTA exam.

Neurological CT

CT scans of the brain and spine can provide more detailed information about tissue and structures than standard X-rays of the head, and provide more information related to injuries and diseases of the brain and spine. CT scans are not used as often as MRI scans when looking at brain or spinal cord tumors, but they can be useful in some cases. CT scans show greater detail of the bone structures near the tumor.

Image of example Neurological CT scan

Body CT

CT of the abdomen and pelvis is a diagnostic imaging test used to help detect diseases of the small bowel, colon, and other internal organs and is often used to determine the cause of unexplained pain. CT shows bones, organs, and soft tissues more clearly than standard X-rays. CT scans are often used to show a tumor’s shape, size, and location. They can even show the blood vessels that feed the tumor, without having to go through an invasive surgical procedure.

Example body CT image.

CT Enterography

CT enterography is a specialized imaging test that lets us see detailed pictures of your small intestine and other structures in the abdomen and pelvis. It can pinpoint inflammation, bleeding, and other problems. MR Enterography is often recommended for patients with Crohn's disease to determine its location, severity and unexpected complications, in order to guide effective treatment.

Musculoskeletal CT

CT provides unmatched detail for viewing disorders of the bones, joints, and soft tissues. It allows our musculoskeletal imaging experts to diagnose not only athletic injuries, but also a wide range of disorders.

Example image of a musculoskeletal CT