Lung Damage May Persist Long After COVID-19 Pneumonia

COVID-19 lungs

Lung Damage from Covid-19

 

Pneumonia and COVID-19 can mean long term lung damage.

Pneumonia infects the air sacs of the lungs. These sacs are crucial to our survival, because the air we breathe in is filtered and prepared for use in the bloodstream. When these air sacs become ineffective due to damage, old age, or infection, they cannot release enough oxygen into the bloodstream to keep a person alert and also affect the organs of the body, causing them to shut down one by one. Pneumonia is an infection that preys on the air sac in the lung, causing them to swell up and fill with mucus. In severe cases the air sacs become spongy and porous and can no longer perform their job of transferring vital oxygen into the bloodstream. If this continues for too long the victim lapses into a coma as the brain literally asphyxiates, and then eventually dies.

This is what is happening to some patients who contracted COVID-19 and then came down with pneumonia. Doctors were at first confident that regular medical treatment and prescription drugs for pneumonia would be effective against the pandemic variety. But as the months and now years have gone by, patients who survived COVID-19 and pneumonia and got better are now sometimes relapsing into bronchial distress and even collapsed lungs. This is a grim reminder that the long term effects of the pandemic are still not clearly understood. And effective treatment for long term health problems due to COVID-19 are still not in place.

A big part of the problem is that the immune system reacts differently to pneumonia caused by COVID-19 than to any other type of pneumonia infection. Those patients with COVID-19 related pneumonia retained more fluid in their lungs over a longer period of time, because the immune system apparently kept flushing out toxins long after the need to do so was gone. Hence there is more fluid, fluid that is not reabsorbed back into the body, in Covid-19 pneumonia patients than in regular pneumonia patients. This fluid is a rabid breeding ground for germs and viruses that can suddenly flare up in the lungs at any time for years down the road. This is grim news for patients who thought they had survived the ravages of COVID-19 induced pneumonia.

Another challenge doctors face in the long term treatment of COVID-19 induced pneumonia is that the COVID-19 virus itself attacks the immune system in the lungs, and is not completely eradicated by most standard treatments. This weakens the immune system, sometimes permanently, so that infections can reappear that would otherwise be destroyed by a healthy immune system.

Tests with stronger anti-inflammatory drugs have encouraged medical researchers to believe that the long term damage done by COVID-19 pneumonia can be minimized and even lessened, as long as the patient continues an extended regimen of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, and watchful breathing – avoiding smog and smoke as much as possible. Smoking, needless to say, is contraindicated in all cases.

If you’ve had breathing difficulties associated with the COVID-19 virus that have NOT developed into pneumonia you’re not out of the woods yet. You stand a very real chance of lung damage from things like bronchitis or even the flu. So be careful.

Small CT brain scanner fitted in ambulances or emergency aircraft could save lives of stroke patients

Mobile brain scanners for stroke

Mobile brain scanners can save lives

 

This is how it usually goes.

You’re having dinner with friends when your husband notices that you’re slurring your words.

Perhaps you’re out on a morning stroll when your movements become jerky, as if half of the unseen threads that govern your limbs have been severed.

 

Perhaps a crippling migraine or a starburst at the back of the brain is the signal.

Maybe you’re on your own.

Alternatively, you may drive on the highway, which is the worst of all.

 

 A 70-year-old man, golf ball hunter, and devoted spouse of 51 years, was in this situation.

In Houston, it was a beautiful day.

He was on his way to Galveston to pay a courtesy visit to a valued customer.

For a brief while, the Gulf Freeway was rising to cross El Dorado Boulevard, and the vision through the glass was restricted to the gray race of the road and the clear sky.

 

What follows is difficult to put into words.

Darkness, disorientation, the world pulling away from you, and inputs going lifeless.

A peaceful, unthinking, eternal glide across four lanes of traffic — until his Mercedes-Benz collides with the motorway barrier, jolting him awake and veering back into the pandemonium and brightness.

He realizes the danger hasn’t gone when the Benz finally pulls to a halt.

Despite this, he is unable to intervene.

Because the violence in his brain is still going on.

 

It’s one of the most dreaded medical situations.

What else might make you believe you’d rather suffer a heart attack than a stroke?

Heart attacks are more deadly, but if you survive, you may go on with your life as usual – without a dimmer intellect or the loss of vital body processes.

 

There is no such guarantee with strokes.

Approximately 40% of stroke survivors need special care, 25% have considerable cognitive deterioration, and an average of 17% will be released to long-term care. So say ERs in the United States.

This is not the place to sit back and reflect on one’s achievements in life.

 

The analogy to heart attacks isn’t coincidental.

The great majority of strokes — or, to use the textbook phrase, “cerebrovascular accidents” — are caused by a stoppage in blood flow.

However, unlike a heart attack, which has a plethora of quick treatments, a stroke has proved to be excruciatingly difficult to cure.

More than 1,000 medications have been tried, with the majority of them failing miserably.

Due to a lack of advancement, researchers have turned to unconventional methods.

Brain cooling, TMS, and lasers administered via the nose are all options.

Peach pits and Malayan pit viper venom are used to make drugs.

Doctors were no closer to developing a therapy for strokes in the early 1990s than they had been 50 years before.

As the expression goes, “diagnose and adios.”

There is nothing that can be done. Especially when diagnosis and treatment are delayed by even an hour.

 

But with a mobile CT brain scanner the scenario changes. Becomes more hopeful. Patients suffering from a stroke or the symptoms of a stroke can get an immediate, if rough, diagnosis, while riding in the ambulance to the hospital. Or even on a plane flight.

Small portable mobile CT scan devices are now being worked on by several cutting edge technology companies around the globe. And although Covid-19 slowed down the research and implementation substantially, the best guess today is that by late 2023 mobile CT brain scanners will be up and running in major metropolitan ambulances. And on many commercial flights. The terror and damage of a stroke will lessen considerably. 

It’s a ray of hope in the post pandemic gloom!

How CT Scans Have Evolved Into The Next Big Thing In Healthcare

CT scans have been around for decades, and they have been used in medical imaging for several decades before that. The basic principles of CT imaging have not changed much since the 1950s, but there have been improvements to the technology to increase safety and reduce radiation exposure. Today’s CT scans are able to detect more types of diseases and conditions than ever before. CT scans have revolutionized the medical industry and have become a common diagnostic tool used by doctors around the world.

In this article, we will explore how CT scans work, how they’ve evolved through the years, how they are used today, and how they will continue to help people across the world.

Related article: History of the CT Scan

Godfrey Hounsfield stands beside the EMI-Scanner in 1972. PA Images via Getty Images

 

What is a CT Scan?

A CT scan uses computers to create detailed cross-sectional images of the body and organs. A large, circularly shaped object known as a catheter is inserted into a vein in the arm, neck, or groin. The catheter is connected to a detector, which takes multiple pictures as the catheter is moved around the body. These images are sent to a computer for processing. The computer uses a mathematical formula to create a picture of the body and organs. The images are then interpreted by a radiologist. Catheter CT scanning is used to study the anatomy of the brain, lungs, heart, liver, spleen, kidney, and other organs. 

 

How CT Scans Work

CT scans use X-rays to create cross-sectional images of a body part or organ. X-rays are a type of light waves. They have enough energy to pass through the body, but weak enough energy that they do not pose a risk to a person. They are not absorbed by tissue and are not harmful to the body. In a CT scan, X-rays are passed through a patient’s body and focused into a detector. The detector converts the X-rays into a digital image, which is sent to a computer for processing. The computer uses a mathematical formula to create a cross sectional image of the body part or organ. The X-rays pass through the body and are focused into a detector. The detector converts the X-rays into an image, which is sent to a computer for processing. The computer uses a mathematical formula to create a cross-sectional image of the body part or organ. The cross-sectional image is then interpreted by a radiologist. 

 

What do CT Scans detect?

CT scans are able to detect any part of the body that is a solid, liquid, or gas, but they are most often used to detect diseases of the body’s organs. CT scans can detect:

  • Abnormalities in the structure of organs and structures of the body
  • Diseases affecting the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, stomach, intestines, and stomach
  • Diagnosis of tumors
  • Symptoms of stroke, heart attacks, or other medical conditions
  • Brain biopsies 

 

How CT Scans are Performed

A CT scanner uses a patient’s body as a moving target to create detailed cross-sectional images of organs. The scanner rotates around the patient at high speed and takes thousands of X-ray images as the body moves through the machine. The images are then reconstructed into a computer, which produces a cross-sectional image of the organ. The images are then interpreted by a radiologist. 

 

CT Imaging Today

CT scans are used to detect diseases and conditions of the body’s organs. While they are able to detect more types of diseases and conditions, this technology has not changed much in the last few decades. The detection of disease is dependent on the sensitivity of the scan and what is detected on the images. If a scan cannot detect a disease, it is unable to tell the difference between normal and abnormal tissue.

CT scans are now used to detect conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. They are also used to detect conditions that are not life-threatening, but require medical attention. CT scans are often used to diagnose diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

 

How CT Scans will Continue to Make a Difference in Healthcare

CT scans have been used in healthcare for decades and will continue to make a difference in healthcare. The ability to detect disease and conditions of the body on cross-sectional images is powerful. This is because these images can be used to see the inside of the body. Doctors can see areas where disease could be forming. This is especially useful for cancers and tumors, which cannot be seen anywhere else on the body. With the ability to see inside the body, doctors can detect signs of disease earlier and take action sooner. This saves time and money, and ensures the best possible outcome for their patients. 

 

Summing up

CT scans use X-rays to create detailed cross-sectional images of organs, structures, and the body as a whole. This technology has been used in healthcare for decades, and it is only getting more popular. The ability to detect disease and conditions of the body on cross-sectional images is powerful, as it gives doctors a way to see the inside of the body. This can help detect signs of disease earlier and take action sooner. In addition, doctors can see areas where disease could be forming, which is especially useful for cancers and tumors, which cannot be seen anywhere else on the body.

What Are The Trends in Computed Tomography Imaging to Look Forward to (This 2022)?

What Are The Trends in Computed Tomography Imaging to Look Forward to (This 2022)?

The computed tomography (CT) scanning procedure is a type of specialized imaging that helps physicians view organs and bones non-invasively. CT scanners route X-rays through the body, capturing multiple angles of a cross-sectional image to compile into a 3D representation which can be stored and examined on computers. The data is processed using algorithms to reconstruct images in the human-readable format.

 

Catalina Imaging - Featured Images

 

Function and productivity will drive many of the trends we’re seeing for CT imaging this 2022. As the sophisticated technology behind computed tomography continues to spread its reach, users can now enjoy greater access to these tools through third party companies specializing in their manufacture and distribution. 

 

For example, Mordor Intelligence forecasts that by 2026, the CT market will grow by 5.76 percent annually, hitting a hefty $9.5 million by that time.

 

While rates of cancer, including those for colorectal and cervical cancer, are thankfully dropping in the United States and other developed countries, cancer remains a persistent health crisis. In response to the increased demand observed for several years now for CT scans that diagnose many different cancers, scanner manufacturers have begun enhancing their flagship models with more productivity-enhancing features.

 

Some of the recent trends in CT Imaging technology seen this past year include:

 

Quality, Dose and Workflow

Philips announced the release of Spectral CT 7500, which has received regulatory clearance from both Europe and the U.S. FDA. This system promises to deliver high-quality spectral images 100 percent of the time without needing special protocols like those on many other newest models, subsequently reducing protocol bias and confirming old information in up to 60 percent fewer tests than ever before. 

 

The Spectral CT 7500’s  intelligent software eliminates all of the guesswork behind acquiring test scans, giving radiologists more accurate data faster than they’ve ever had before. 

 

Philips’s goal with Spectral CT 7500 is to help physicians better characterize disease and reduce rescans, allowing them to detect abnormalities earlier on with just as much precision as conventional CT scans but with less radiation exposure for patients overall.

 

Artificial Intelligence Technologies

GE Healthcare released its Revolution Ascend with Effortless Workflow, which offers clinicians a collection of AI technologies that automate and simplify time-consuming tasks to increase operational efficiency and free up time for clinicians to deliver more personalized care for more patients. 

 

Equipped with a lower table, 40mm detector coverage, and a larger, new 75 cm wide-gantry, the Revolution Ascend is designed to accommodate high body mass index (BMI) patients, as well as trauma cases that would otherwise be too delicate to maneuver in a smaller size gantry.

 

Other features built into GE’s Revolution Ascend:

  • GE’s Effortless Workflow, a new suite of AI solutions that personalizes scans accurately and automatically for each patient, and requires significantly less effort from the CT technologist. 
  • Auto Positioning, which uses real-time depth-sensing technology to generate a 3-D model of the patient’s body and uses a deep learning algorithm to determine the correct table elevation and cradle movements to align the center of the scan range with the isocenter of the bore.
  • The Clarity Operator Environment, a suite of embedded intelligent tools that can provide optimal scan range settings, dose and image quality for each patient, helping to deliver greater efficiency and more personalized medicine across clinical care areas.

 

Intelligent User Interface

The FDA recently approved an innovative single-source CT scanner by Siemens Healthineers called the Somatom X.ceed. Its scanner is designed for all scanning procedures and is aimed at providing state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging through an 82 cm bore.

 

The Siemens Healthineers Somatom X.ceed features both high-speed scanning capabilities and a level of resolution previously unseen in other single-source CT systems, with a new hardware/software combination to simplify CT-guided interventions. 

 

Key features of the Siemens Healthineers Somatom X.ceed:

  • a fast rotation speed of 0.25 seconds to ensure a high native temporal resolution and reduce motion artifacts when scanning, moving structures such as the heart. 
  • a scan speed of 262 mm/sec to provide consistent image quality across the entire field of view
  • a small focal point on the scanner–  0.4 x 0.5– to enable increased spatial resolution to better detect deep-seated small and medium lesions. 
  • a 1,300 mA power reserve, for higher power, enabling a high level of image quality for larger patients while expanding the utilization of low dose and low contrast media techniques, such as low kV imaging.
  • myNeedle Companion combines hardware innovations and intuitive software to coordinate the planning and guidance of percutaneous needle procedures. 
  • myExam Companion user guidance software employs artificial intelligence to help simplify and standardize scanner operation for each user. It also provides a new decision tool for trauma imaging. 
  • myExam Satellite feature allows immediate assessment of CT perfusion results, which can be very valuable in emergency radiology.

 

Accuracy, Precision and Speed

The new Aquilion Exceed LB CT system from Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. has just received FDA clearance, The Aquilion’s  CT technology delivers high-quality, high-resolution volumetric, 3D reconstruction images in a clinically relevant and cost-effective manner. 

 

The Aquilion Exceed LB CT system has the potential to enhance oncologists’ treatment of cancer patients because of its ability to reduce radiation dose exposure, increase patient throughput and improve accuracy. 

 

The system was specifically designed for the radiotherapy market to provide better visualization of tumor anatomy during treatment planning with uniform patient positioning that enables accurate target localization for all types of cancer.

 

Features of the Aquilion Exceed LB CT system include: 

  • Canon Medical’s Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE) Deep Learning Reconstruction (DLR) technology, which provides sharper, clearer, and more distinct images. 
  • a large bore opening (90 cm),
  • edge-to-edge extended field-of-view (90 cm) reconstruction 
  • and wide detector coverage (4 cm). 

 

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A Final Word on CT Imaging Trends This 2022

Function and productivity will drive many of the trends we’re seeing for CT imaging this 2022. 

 

One of the things that will continue to drive the industry forward will be the need for faster exam times. The faster exams can help reduce patient stress, improve physician efficiency, and increase a facility’s throughput. 

 

We will likely see more manufacturers continue to implement and improve on existing workflow enhancements. Workflow enhancements can include faster gantry rotation, faster table speed, and faster reconstruction times to name a few. These enhancements are all focused on helping to drive exam times down. 

 

We will also see the adoption of more advanced software and hardware applications such as CAD, virtual reality, and automated patient positioning. These applications will help to improve the workflow and patient experience, but also help to improve the final image quality.

 

Source: Imaging Technology News 

Healthcare… Why are we in this business?

Doctor with patient using CT scan

What is it that drives someone to want to be in healthcare? Is it the humanity, knowing you are contributing to a family having more knowledge in their loved one’s health issues? Could it be the money? Markets show an industry increase of over 800 billion for 2021. With so much growth, this must mean you can make a lot of money, right?

 

Whether your reasons are purely altruistic or not, we all share one thing in common. WE DO IT!

 

For me, healthcare has been a passion of mine since I was 18, when my father passed away from pancreatic cancer. During his treatment, I remember the feeling of complete helplessness. I can recall thinking to myself, what can I do to make a difference. It took some years, but I found my spot in healthcare.

 

My first venture into healthcare was as a Field Service Engineer (FSE), repairing medical equipment all over the US. My new venture provides a solution to hospitals. This enables hospitals to maintain the same level of care while their CT is being repaired or replaced. In some cases, it offers a hospital an inexpensive alternative to building a new hospital suite. At the end of the day, I know I am doing what I was intended to do, help patients obtain answers.

 

Introducing: Jeremy Lorenzo

We are excited to introduce our newest team member, Jeremy Lorenzo. Read a little bit more about him here:

I am a results driven professional, focused on making business efficient. In addition, I am always looking to make the customer experience better. I pride myself in being a mentor to others, and am focused on improving their job experience. I have 12 years of experience in healthcare, specializing in providing service for Bayer Healthcare products. I have been recognized on the national level numerous times for exceeding financials, customer satisfaction, and excellence in service. For the last 6 years of my employment, I have been in a leadership position, working closely with the service leadership team. Together, we developed strategies to increase revenue while maintaining top-level service.

I am a father and husband first. I have always been a person of integrity and persistence. I encourage input from all who I work with, because I realize the importance in keeping an open mind. I keep a positive outlook on life and do my best to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Lastly, I remain humble and thankful for the opportunities in life.

I am beyond pleased to be working with Catalina Imaging, and I am eager to learn about the business. I am looking forward to working closely with all of our customers, and am excited to be a part of a team that provides a solution to healthcare.

Reasons Why Your Doctor Might Recommend a CT Scan

Reasons Why Your Doctor Might Recommend a CT Scan | Catalina Imaging

A CT scan is a medical imaging procedure that combines a series of X-rays taken from different angles to create a highly detailed image of the soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones inside your body. 

 

A CT scan machine is well suited for diagnosing diseases and injuries because it provides detailed images. However, it is particularly useful to ER doctors who need to examine traumatic accident victims quickly. 

 

Why Would Your Doctor Order a CT Scan? 

With the proliferation of medical imaging machines like MRI, ultrasound, and bone scan, you might wonder why your doctor still recommends a CT scan. 

To better help you understand the benefits of a CT scan, we list some of the most common reasons why your doctor might recommend this medical imaging procedure. 

 

It is a better option than magnetic resonance imaging or MRI in some situations. 

While MRIs and CT scans are almost similar, there are reasons why MRI is not an ideal procedure. For instance, patients with cochlear implants, implanted pacemakers, and intracranial aneurysm clips can’t have this procedure that involves the use of strong magnets. 

Also, CT scans are shorter and less noisy than MRIs, which emit a banging sound because of the metal coils vibrating during the procedure. 

 

You have soft tissue damage. 

Compared to traditional X-rays, CT scans provide a crispier, more detailed image of the soft tissue around the bones. And with better images, your doctor can provide a more accurate diagnosis and ultimately a more effective treatment and recovery plan. 

 

You have a certain type of vascular disease. 

While ultrasound can be used to examine your blood vessels, sometimes their results are inconclusive when it comes to aneurysms, which makes CT scans a better option.

CT scans can also replace surgical biopsy and exploratory surgery, allowing doctors to examine your blood vessels without resorting to surgical procedures. 

 

You have bone injuries affecting small components. 

If you have bone injuries in your spinal area, hands, feet, and other “small components,” CT scan is a better option than X-rays which may not provide the same level of accuracy. 

 

You need a bone scan. 

CT scan machines can evaluate your bone density and ultimately determine if you have osteoporosis, which stems from a lifelong lack of calcium. 

CT scans can also diagnose osteoporosis-related fractures that commonly occur in the wrist, spine, and hip. 

 

You are receiving chemotherapy. 

Cancer patients routinely undergo CT scans to determine if their tumors respond to radiation treatments used to kill cancerous tumors. These machines can also show doctors the tumor’s size and shape. 

 

You need tumor surgery. 

Before surgery, your specialists may recommend a CT scan alongside biopsy to help them confirm the presence of a tumor and learn about its exact location, shape, and size. The images from the CT scan can also help them examine the tissue surrounding the tumor. 

 

You just had a traumatic accident. 

While MRIs and CT scans have almost the same functions, CT scans are a better imaging tool in emergencies such as a car collision and slip and fall accident in which doctors need to detect internal injuries quickly to save their patients. 

 

You need your brain examined. 

Brain CT scans are used to evaluate the presence of mass, tumor, ischemic process (like stroke), fluid collection, hemorrhage, and trauma. Compared to standard X-rays of the head, these machines provide more detailed information about the brain structure and its soft tissue. 

CT scans for the brain usually take between 15 and 30 minutes. 

 

Related article: Managing Claustrophobia and Anxiety During Your CT Scan

 

To learn more about CT scans, contact Catalina Imaging at (844) 949-1664 or email them at info@catalinaimaging.com. They provide a mobile CT scan fleet for medical facilities in California, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Illinois

Managing Claustrophobia and Anxiety During Your CT Scan

Managing Claustrophobia and Anxiety During Your CT Scan | anxious child before CT Scan | blog article by Catalina Imaging

Some patients experience signs of claustrophobia during their CT scan, MRI, and or certain types of imaging procedures that require them to lay still in a confined space. Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate or at least minimize their level of anxiety. 

 

Coping with Scan Anxiety and Managing Claustrophobia
Coping with Scan Anxiety and Managing Claustrophobia

What Is Claustrophobia? 

This type of anxiety disorder results in intense, irrational fear in tight spaces such as elevators, crowded rooms, and medical imaging machines like MRIs and CT scans. Experts suggest that it might stem from traumatic events like experiencing turbulence when flying or being trapped in an enclosed area like cabinets.

Meanwhile, some psychiatrists believe that claustrophobia or any intense, irrational phobia might be related to dysfunction of the amygdala, a part of the brain that controls how you process fear. 

 

Claustrophobia is Different for Everyone 

As with any type of phobia, claustrophobia is different for anyone in terms of the level of intensity, ranging from mild nervousness to a full-blown panic attack in which the symptoms are almost similar to heart attacks: shortness of breath, numbness of feet and hands, dizziness, fainting, choking sensation, chest pain, trembling, and heart palpitations. 

Some people who have experienced extreme symptoms of claustrophobia describe the feeling as if they’re going to die or the world is going to end. 

Interestingly, many people with claustrophobia know that their intense fear is irrational.

Aside from symptoms and intensity, the triggers also differ from person to person. For instance, some may feel extreme anxiety when riding in an elevator, although plane travel is a “tolerable” experience for them. In contrast, some people can’t travel via aircraft or boat because of their intense phobia, but for some reason, they only experience mild [and manageable] anxiety when using an elevator or being in a small crowded room.

 

Why Imaging Procedures Might Trigger Claustrophobia 

CT scans, MRIs, and bone scans require enclosed or semi-enclosed medical imaging machines to capture images of the area of concern. Due to the tight space, some patients may experience high levels of anxiety and fear, making it difficult for them to stay still.

It is important to stay perfectly still during medical imaging because even the slightest movement can blur the image. Some machines like CT scans of the abdomen and chest even require patients to hold their breath between 10 and 25 seconds. 

Aside from the tight space, intense anxiety during a medical imaging procedure may also stem from the loudness or “weird” beeping sound of the machine. Some claustrophobic patients have also reported fear of being injured or suffocated during their CT scans or MRIs. 

Some patients have also experienced high anxiety levels after the procedure as they wait for their test results. 

 

How to Reduce Scan-Related Anxiety 

The list below could provide a better patient experience: 

 

Mild sedatives 

 If you have a history of anxiety disorder or have claustrophobia, your doctor might recommend a mild sedative to help you stay relaxed during your medical imaging procedure. Sometimes, medications are prescribed alongside a psychotherapy treatment. 

Drugs that may be used right before a medical imaging procedure include beta-blockers, Benzodiazepines, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. 

 

Soothing music 

If you’re having an MRI scan, you can ask your technician to play a soothing playlist. (Note: MRI machines are particularly loud, which may bother some patients.)

 

Consider Alternatives 

If you are bothered by the banging noise from MRI machines, you may want to ask your doctor if a CT scan is a good alternative. 

Aside from being shorter and less noisy than MRIs, CT scans are better at providing accurate images that can help your doctor diagnose your injury or disease more easily. 

On the other hand, if your main concern is the tight space, ask your doctor if you can have an ultrasound or an open upright MRI instead. 

 

Final Thoughts on Anxiety Management During Your CT Scan

Good communications between technologists and patients also play a critical role in reducing anxiety and symptoms of claustrophobia. In general, people who receive specific details (e.g., how long the test will take and how it will be like) will have a better experience than those left in the dark. 

To learn more about better patient experience during a medical imaging procedure, contact Catalina Imaging at (844) 949-1664 or email them at info@catalinaimaging.com. They have mobile CT scans in multiple locations like California, North Carolina, Illinois, and Minnesota.

Medical Imaging for Heart Disease

Medical Imaging for Heart Disease |blog article by Catalina Imaging

In the past, medical imaging to detect heart disease involved expensive and less accurate procedures. Some methods like treadmill stress testing are not recommended or even dangerous for some patients, particularly those with unstable heart failure, symptomatic severe aortic stenosis, and uncontrolled arrhythmia. 

 

But with the advancement in medical imaging, today’s patients have more options, most of which are safer, more accurate, and even cheaper. 

 

New imaging technologies that can help doctors diagnose heart disease include the following: 

 

  • Modern CT Scans
  • PET combined with CT Scan
  • Three-dimensional echocardiography, which is also called 3D echo
  • Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI 

 

Modern CT Scans

 

Modern CT scanners can perform a procedure called computed tomography angiography or CTA, which is notable for its accuracy (up to 95%) when detecting small blockages in coronary arteries. The imaging technology also allows doctors to rule out congenital abnormalities and severe heart and artery disease. 

 

CTA is also significantly less invasive than older techniques like the cardiac cath that involves inserting a long, thin tube called catheter into an artery or vein in the neck, groin, or arm to access the heart. 

 

In essence, CT scanners are like X-ray machines that provide better imaging. Before the procedure, a contrast dye is injected into the patient’s arm so the scanner, which looks like a giant donut, can take multiple images to create a more detailed impression of the heart and its blood vessels. 

 

PET Combined with CT Scan

 

Positron emission tomography or PET scan is an imaging procedure that uses a radioactive substance to detect poor blood flow, buildup of substances in the heart muscle, and other abnormalities in the heart. And when combined with modern CT scanner, the imaging technique can assess not just the heart anatomy but also its function. 

 

MRI Heart Scan

 

Compared to earlier medical imaging technologies to detect heart diseases, MRI heart scanners provide more detailed images that can help doctors evaluate the heart structure and function. 

 

MRI is particularly useful when it comes to showing valve disease, the heart’s overall appearance (volume, shape, and size), tumors, blood clots, and other abnormalities the older imaging technologies may not detect easily. 

 

While MRI does not use radiation, it relies on powerful magnets to create detailed images. For this reason, the imaging technique is not performed on patients with a defibrillator or pacemaker. 

 

Nowadays, MRIs come in two versions: open and closed. Open MRI scanners were initially developed to accommodate people with claustrophobia, although they are not an option for medical imaging for heart disease because the organ is in constant motion. 

 

Echocardiography 

 

Echocardiography uses high-frequency sound waves called ultrasound to evaluate the valves and heart muscle. Just like in a prenatal ultrasound, it uses a wand-like device that transmits sound waves against the chest area, producing moving images of the heart. 

 

Because the imaging technology does not use any contrast medium or radiation, it can be performed multiple times without predisposing patients to risk of complications. 

 

The list below explains the three types of echo test used today: 

 

  • Three-dimensional echo. This provides multiple ultrasound images of the heart, allowing cardiologists to see a complete image of the heart in motion. Due to its accuracy, it is ideal for evaluating the heart muscle function and its valves. 
  • Portable echo. This inexpensive laptop-sized echo machine is commonly used by paramedics and emergency physicians. 
  • Intracardiac echo. It is used during a cardiac cath procedure in which a long, thin tube is inserted and threaded through the heart to perform surgeries such as closing a hole, opening a narrow valve with a balloon-like device, etc.

 

Final Word on Imaging for the Heart

 

The best imaging procedure for the heart boils down to the symptoms, the patient’s medical condition, and the use of adjunct treatments. To learn more about the topic, contact Catalina Imaging at (844) 949-1664 or info@catalinaimaging.com

 

Catalina Imaging is one of the leading CT mobile imaging providers in the country, serving hospitals and other healthcare facilities in California, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Illinois. 

 

How to Prepare for Your CT Scan

How to Prepare for Your CT Scan | patient consulting with doctor | blog article by Catalina Imaging

A CT Scan is a medical imaging procedure used to detect muscle and bone disorders, internal injuries, and certain diseases. Oftentimes, it requires preparation to ensure your comfort and avoid nausea and discomfort while being scanned. 

 

How to Prepare for Your CT Scan

The preparations before a CT scan may differ from patient to patient, so it is best to always consult with your doctor. In addition, there are instances when a person can’t prepare for an exam; this is particularly true for a car accident victim or anyone who suffers from traumatic injuries who generally needs an immediate imaging scan. 

 

Food Restrictions

If you are scheduled for a CT scan, your doctor may ask you to avoid drinking and eating at least four hours before your exam. The idea is to eliminate or at least reduce the risk of discomfort and throwing up while lying down.  

 

Food restriction is particularly important if you’re going to receive an injection of contrast dye, which is used if there is a need for a clearer image of the chest area. For some patients, the solution causes them to feel nauseated, so it is ideal to come to the exam with an empty stomach.  

 

Blood Test 

Your doctor may recommend a blood test before your scheduled CT scan to ensure that the right contrast dye will be used during the procedure. 

 

Allergy Medications

Patients allergic to contrast dye injection, which contains iodine, may need to take a steroid medication the night before and morning of the scheduled CT scan. Sometimes, doctors also include antihistamine drugs (e.g., Benadryl) to further eliminate the risk of allergic reactions. 

 

Oral Solutions

Depending on why you’re getting an exam, you may need to consume a large glass of oral contrast dye, which is a liquid containing Gastrografin or barium. This prep solution is commonly used for patients who need their abdominal area scanned. 

 

(Note: While most patients are instructed not to eat solid foods, they are generally allowed to drink water, decaffeinated tea or coffee, and juice.)

 

Arrive Early 

A good rule of thumb is to arrive at least 30 minutes before your CT scan to allow the examination to stay on schedule.

 

Wear Comfortable, Loose-Fitting Clothing to Your Exam

While your healthcare provider will most likely give you a gown, it still makes sense to wear comfortable clothes to your exam. Also, don’t wear metal objects like eyeglasses, jewelry, hairpins, clothes with metal zippers and buttons, or even dentures while inside the tunnel-like part of the CT scan because they might affect the images. 

 

Related article: Managing Claustrophobia and Anxiety During Your CT Scan

During the Exam 

During the test, you will lie on your back on a table that slides through a tunnel-like scanner. If your exam requires an IV contrast dye, your healthcare provider will inject it into your arm. 

 

The contrast dye injection may result in nausea, a “flushed” sensation, or even a slight metallic taste in your mouth. 

 

Once you’re inside the tunnel-like scanner, you will need to stay as still as possible to avoid blurring the images. On average, the scan itself only takes between 10 and 30 minutes.

 

After the CT Scan 

You can return to your normal activities after your scan. However, your healthcare provider may ask you to stay for a few minutes to ensure that you don’t feel any discomfort or nausea, which is a common mild side effect of contrast dye. To help your kidney remove the contrast dye from your body, he may also require you to drink lots of water. 

 

To learn more about mobile CT scan, contact Catalina Imaging at (844) 949-1664. We are a reputable mobile CT company based in Placer County, California, with a combined 50 years of experience.