Mobile CT Rental: How to Prepare Your Site

Mobile CT Trailer Schematics

If your medical facility decides to Rent a Mobile CT Scanner, you must prepare your facility for this service based on the site planning and regulatory requirements. If your provider has not explained the guidelines for site preparation, read the guidelines below.

Related articles:

  • What to Look for in a CT Scanner Service Provider
  • Reasons Why Medical Facilities Rent Mobile CT Scanners
    Physical Site Requirements

    Most mobile CT scanner rentals use a trailer that is 8.5 feet wide, 48 feet long, and 13.5 feet tall, and weighs around 30 tons. With this in mind, make sure that your site can accommodate this size and weight.

    A good rule of thumb is to use asphalt to prep the ground for the trailer, which is similar to a concrete surface, although it can be installed at a lower cost. The goal is to create a level surface that can accommodate the weight of the CT mobile trailer.

    Power Requirements

    A mobile CT needs three-phase power. And when it comes to voltage, always check in with your provider because each trailer has specific requirements. But as of this writing, Russellstoll is the most common manufacturer of a connector used by trailers.

    Another thing to keep in mind: the electrical power source must be located within 300 feet of the main power source, and a lockout/tagout provision based on OSHA Standard 1910.147 should be met.

    IT Requirements

    The mobile CT scanner unit needs three telephone connections that include phone cords (included in the service), Hubbel all-weather telephone connection (you need to purchase and install this one), and 2 CAT5 data line connections with connection cables (included in the service).

    A good rule of thumb is to discuss the preparation in advance with your IT department to ensure that you have a reliable network connection outside of the main medical building. Additionally, an IT expert should arrive the same day as the mobile CT scanner to ensure that network protocols are set up correctly.

    Stock Consumables

    Just like a fixed CT scanner, mobile CT trailers need consumables such as dyes, injector syringes, printer files, among others. Also, make sure that your gurney is of the correct size based on the patient lift platform.

    Regulatory Requirements

    If you decide to rent a mobile CT scanner for your facility, you must register with the state the X-ray tube you’re going to use (your local authority will require a yearly evaluation performed by a licensed physicist). Oftentimes, this process takes 2-3 weeks with the help of your provider’s radiation safety officer.

    If your provider does not have a license to hold radioactive materials in your state, the law requires that they submit a new application, a process that can take between three and six months.

    On the other hand, if your provider has a radioactive materials license, it only needs to inform the state about the additional location, address, and authorized user.

    Additionally, all states require that the mobile CT rental provider and the medical facility have a signed memorandum of agreement, which defines the responsibilities of each party.

    See also: Top Mobile CT Imaging Brands

    Key Takeaways

    It is ideal to plan ahead even before signing up with a mobile CT rental provider. By doing so, you can avoid costly issues and “surprises.”

    Additionally, make sure that there is an open line of communication between your staff (IT department and other stakeholders), your provider, and the regulating bodies in your state.

    If you need a reputable mobile CT scanner provider, visit Catalina Imaging or call us at (844) 949-1664.

    At Catalina Imaging, we specialize in mobile CT scanners that use the most advanced technologies like Siemens, Toshiba/Canon, and GE. If you partner with us, you can enjoy these additional services:

  • Site assistance, pre-planning, and set-up
  • Customer support 24/7
  • Transportation
  • Fully insured equipment
  • Physicist surveys
  • Application training (fees may apply)
  • Top Mobile CT Imaging Brands

    Top Mobile CT Imaging Brands

    Leading mobile CT imaging provider Catalina Imaging has brand preferences because they provide advantages in mobile settings, resulting in a better experience for the medical facilities that rent mobile CT trailers.

    Catalina Imaging’s brand references are primarily based on two factors: sliced count and dose of optimization.

    According to previous studies, the higher slice counts, the shorter the scan time and the better resolution a CT scanner can provide. Nevertheless, some experts believe that 128-320 slice counts are overkill, and most medical facilities only need 16-slice CT that works well for emergency care centers, medium and large hospitals, and facilities with high traffic.

    By contrast, lower slice count such as the 4-slice CT has certain limitations that only make it ideal in low-volume centers (i.e., one to two patients every week), veterinary practices, and urology diagnosis.

    Due to the growing demand for lower radiation exposure, dose optimization is another critical factor when choosing a CT imaging scanner. Nowadays, there are models that can accommodate lower x-ray tube current and have improved detector dose efficiency.
    Catalina Imaging’s Brand Preference

    The CT imaging provider offers GE, Siemens, and Toshiba because they provide a better experience for the medical centers and hospitals that rent their CT fleet.

    Related articles:
    What to Look for in a CT Scanner Service Provider
    Reasons Why Medical Facilities Rent Mobile CT Scanners


    GE Line

    Their GE line includes the Revolution Discovery 750HF, 750HD, and VCT 64/128. They also use software called ASiR that makes it possible to use the lowest dose and exposure to radiation possible without compromising the quality of the image.

    The upfront cost of GE CT scanners is higher than other models in the market; however, their replacement parts, labor, and cost of service are lower. Also, they are easier to maintain because of their air-cooled system.


    Toshiba CT Scanner

    Toshiba scanners are known for their power and quality. For example, one of their most popular models Aquilion 16 (16-slice scanner) can rotate in just under 0.4 seconds but still provide highly detailed images at 12 frames per second.

    As of this writing, Toshiba CT scanners are the preferred models to conduct bone density scans, lung analysis, and examinations involving cancer, urinary tract, musculoskeletal, and nervous system.
    See also:
    Canon Medical’s Advancements with AI-based Image Reconstruction Technology


    Siemens Mobile CT

    Siemens scanners provide one of the best clinical performance thanks to their advanced radiation and minimization. This means that doctors enjoy sharper images even though their patients are exposed to lower levels of radiation exposure.

    Compared to other brands, Siemens scanners are more affordable in terms of upfront cost and maintenance.

    And lastly, they have models that can accommodate up to 456-lbs. patients, thanks to its 70 cm gantry bore plus a 70 cm field of view.


    Mobile CT Service from Catalina Imaging

    To learn more about Catalina Imaging Mobile CT Service, visit their website or call them at 844 949-1664.

    With more than 50 years of combined experience in managing mobile imaging fleets, Catalina Imaging is your reliable partner whether you need short- or long-term mobile CT service.

    What to Look for in a CT Scanner Service Provider

    If you are a radiologist manager or hospital administrator, choosing the “right” mobile CT scanner service provider might be a daunting task because you have to consider the service fee, the type of equipment they offer, and the nitty-gritty details of their contract.

    To help you choose the right service provider, we compiled a list of things you should always consider.


    When we say experience, we are not just referring to the number of years a CT scan engineer has spent to hone his expertise, but also the service provider’s experience in handling a specific model and brand. For this reason, a GE CT engineer with a decade of knowledge may not be the best one to work on a Siemens scanner (and vice versa).

    The general rule of thumb is to ask the provider’s “preferred” CT scan brands and models if you want to assess their level of expertise and experience.

    Availability of parts

    It is advisable to choose a service provider that stocks their own inventory of mobile CT scanner parts. In this way, they won’t have a hard time finding a replacement part in the event that this medical equipment breaks down.

    Providers that keep their own replacement parts can help you save money because you don’t have to pay for the shipping cost. Additionally, you don’t have to wait for days, or worse, weeks, just for the parts to arrive on your doorstep.

    Simply put, you can avoid additional expenses and prolonged downtime if you partner with a service provider that keeps their own replacement part inventory.

    Customer Service

    Always choose a provider that offers a customer-focused service, meaning they should maintain an open line of communication, including weekends and holidays. In addition, they should be able to resolve problems (for example, the CT scan needs repair or tune-up) as quickly as possible. Hence, you may want to partner with a local service provider whose engineers live just a short drive from your facility.

    Reasonable Service Fee

    Opt for a CT scan service provider that offers reasonable service fees and discounts. For instance, some companies offer a discount if you agree to a long-term lease, i.e., a minimum of one year.

    Of course, price should not be the only consideration when choosing a provider. Keep in mind that the quality of service trumps all other factors.

    Mobile CT Scan
    Why Choose Us

    To learn more about high-quality CT scanner providers, call Catalina Imaging at 844 949-1664 or schedule your free consultation by clicking here.

    Catalina Imaging‘s commitment is to provide your facility with industry-leading mobile solutions to ensure your scanning needs are met. We offer you state-of-the-art technology supported by our dedicated customer service, guaranteeing efficiency when it is needed most.

    Reasons Why Medical Facilities Rent Mobile CT Scanners

    Toshiba Prime 160-slice Mobile CT Scanner

    Most hospitals and medical facilities that choose to rent mobile CT scanners than purchase this medical imaging equipment do so because of the upfront cost. As of this writing, the cost of new ct scanners greatly varies between $285,000 and $2.1 million.

    Why Do Medical Facilities Rent Mobile CT Scanners?

    They are running a training or education course.

    Hospitals and medical facilities that offer training often need to rent a mobile CT scanner, so their own imaging equipment is not tied up to their education course. Usually, they opt for a long-term lease (a minimum of one year) to enjoy a huge discount.

    They need a trial run.

    Newly established medical facilities may want to conduct a “trial run” before they purchase their own [fixed] CT scan, which of course, involves a considerable investment that can reach millions of dollars. Once they can establish sustainable foot traffic–i.e., enough patients who need this imaging procedure–they may proceed to buy their own scanner.

    On the other hand, if the trial run shows that the number of patients every month fluctuates significantly, they may want to stick to the leasing arrangement at least for the meantime.

    Their fixed CT scanners are under renovation or maintenance.

    If the hospital’s current CT suite is under maintenance or renovation, they need to rent this mobile CT scan to continue providing this imaging procedure that is commonly used in detecting injuries, abnormal growth, and damage in bones, blood vessels, and internal organs.

    There is a backlog of patients.

    Some medical facilities experience a sudden spike of backlogs that affect the quality of patient care. Hence, hospitals rent CT scanners from time to time to make sure that they can keep up with the demand.

    Purchasing a fixed CT scanner may not be a sound investment.

    Some hospital networks prefer to rent mobile CT scanners than to equip each site with its own CT suite to save money. This is ideal if not every medical facility site receives enough foot traffic to justify buying an expensive imaging equipment.

    When partnering with hospital networks, a mobile CT rental can have its trailer run a route and then stop at each site for a couple of days.

    They need to preserve their working capital and cash flow.

    Having a fixed CT suite is a huge investment that can reach millions of dollars. For this reason, small hospitals and medical facilities opt for a long-term lease to preserve their working capital and cash flow.

    Leasing laboratory equipment is usually ideal for medical facilities that need to reinvest more capital into the core operations of their business.

    (Note: Medical machinery is generally hard to resell, which further makes it ideal to lease it than purchase one if the medical facility needs to improve their working capital.)

    They want to improve patient care.

    In the past, people from small towns needed to travel long distances just to undergo CT scans from city hospitals. But with the advent of mobile CT scanners, patients will simply need to go to their local hospitals to receive this imaging procedure.

    Related articles:

  • Patient Awareness Drives CT Scan Needs
  • The Difference Between CT and MRI
  • The Importance of Ongoing CT Applications Training
    To learn more about our mobile CT scan rental, call us at (844) 949-1664 or visit Catalina Imaging to know the benefits of partnering with us.


  • About Catalina Imaging
  • Why Choose Us
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  • Patient Awareness Drives CT Scan Needs

    Patient Awareness Drives CT Scan Needs | Catalina Imaging

    Patient Awareness of Different Imaging Test Options 

    Over the recent years, around 75 million CT scans have been performed annually in the US, a number that is expected to continue to reach 84 million by 2022, according to iData Research. 


    Patient awareness is one of the key drivers of the growing number of CT scan procedures and other non-invasive medical imaging technologies. This is particularly true for individuals with a strong [family] history of cancer and other debilitating diseases who can benefit from early detection and diagnosis, which in turn increases the success rate of their treatments. 


    However, doctors would not perform CT scans and other medical procedures without a substantial medical benefit or if these are not medically indicated. 


    Patients should bear in mind that the physicians’ job is not only to diagnose a disease and perform treatments but also to determine whether a test is medically warranted in the first place. 


    CT Provider: What Patients Look For 

    With the advent of the Internet, today’s patients are more aware of their options when it comes to healthcare and treatment. Furthermore, they demand a patient-centric experience that includes non-invasive procedures that provide quick and accurate results. 


    Patients are also aware of the radiation risk that comes with CT scans, prompting them to choose providers that adjust the settings of their scanners based on their body size and age. For children, it is particularly important to limit their radiation exposure because of their small frame and increased sensitivity to radiation. 


    Modern CT scanners can provide optimal image quality even at lower radiation levels, says leading mobile CT provider Catalina Imaging


    To further promote high patient satisfaction, Catalina Imaging encourages good communications between patients and their healthcare providers, adding that patient experience also plays a significant role in adherence to treatment and its effectiveness and outcomes. 


    GE Healthcare also echoes Catalina Imaging’s stance on empowering patients and improving communications to provide them with a better experience. 


    On its website, GE Healthcare states that technologists should perform these guidelines to improve patient experience: 

    • Acknowledge the patients and introduce themselves before the procedure. 
    • Describe the procedure and how long it takes. 
    • Provide patients opportunities to ask questions. 
    • Express genuine concern and empathy toward their patients. 
    • Acknowledge patient fear and anxieties. 
    • Communicate to the patients that they can be reached during a procedure. 


    Better Imaging Technology

    Today’s CT scanners can scan through large areas of the body in just a few seconds, even with lower levels of radiation and contrast dye. Such speed has been tied to improved patient experience, according to several surveys. 


    Another notable advancement in medical imaging procedures is the use of mobile CT scanners, which are housed within a trailer that allows them to move from one medical facility to the next.


    Mobile CT scanners have made quality healthcare more accessible to patients in rural areas who were initially forced to travel long distances to go to city hospitals. 


    Catalina Imaging: The Leading Mobile CT Scanner Provider 

    Catalina Imaging has been at the forefront of the campaign for a better patient experience during medical imaging procedures. Through their nationwide fleet of mobile CT scanners, they have been helping healthcare facilities make medical imaging tests more accessible to residents near them. 


    Their service and storage locations are in Loomis CA, Upland CA, Forest Lake MN, Mokena IL, and Statesville NC


    For more information, you can call them at (844) 949-1664 or send an email at info@catalinaimaging.

    CT Scan for Children: What Parents Should Know

    CT Scan for Children: What Parents Should Know | Catalina Imaging

    What Is a CT Scan for Children?

    A pediatric CT scan is a diagnostic medical imaging procedure that creates three-dimensional images of internal organs, soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones. Compared to the traditional x-ray, it provides a more detailed image that allows medical professionals to diagnose an illness or an injury more accurately. 


    Most CT scans take a few seconds, although sometimes the procedure can take more than 10 minutes. 


    The medical imaging test uses a large machine that resembles a giant donut with a sliding bed inside where the patient lies still during the procedure. 


    The machine emits low-dose radiation that passes through the body and gets picked up by electronic detectors located on the opposite side of the frame to create detailed images. Then, a dedicated computer assembles the “slices” of pictures to come up with three-dimensional images that can show internal injury, tumor, or any abnormality. 


    Common Reasons Why Doctors Recommend Pediatric CT Scans

    CT scans can help medical professionals diagnose a wide range of health conditions and injuries. In children, these are often performed to identify the causes of severe abdominal pain and evaluate the extent of the injury. 


    The medical imaging test is also commonly used to diagnose cancer and monitor patients’ response to treatments. 


    Because of the highly detailed images, CT scans are commonly used to evaluate the heart and blood vessels of children and even babies. 


    These are the other reasons why doctors recommend pediatric CT scans: 

    • Tumor 
    • Pneumonia and other complications from infections
    • Birth defects
    • Appendicitis
    • Inflammatory diseases 
    • Trauma 
    • trauma to blood vessels or lung
    • Stores in the urinary tract 
    • Seizure and other neurological diseases 
    • Hearing loss
    • Bone-related injuries and defects


    In emergencies, CT scan is the go-to medical imaging test since it can quickly detect internal injuries and bleeding, allowing ER doctors to perform life-saving treatments. 


    Related article: Managing Claustrophobia and Anxiety During Your CT Scan


    Preparing Your Child for a CT Scan 

    Each patient will receive a specific set of instructions before undergoing CT scans; hence, you should always ask your doctor for detailed recommendations. 


    Meanwhile, the guidelines mentioned below are “general rules” for most, but not all, patients. 


    • Your child may be asked to avoid drinking or eating a few hours before the exam; this is a common requirement for patients who will receive anesthesia or sedatives. 


    • Inform your child’s doctor about his previous tests (including CT scans), allergies, medical condition, and health-related history. 


    • Your child should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing (without zippers, metal snaps, and belt buckles) during CT scans. 


    • Before the exam, your child should remove metal objects like eyeglasses, jewelry, retainers, hearing aid, etc. 


    Important note: Depending on your child’s age and the area that needs to be scanned, anesthesia may be necessary. In many cases, young children who need to be entirely motionless for a prolonged period may need sedation to ensure high-quality images. 


    How to Minimize Radiation Risk

    While x-rays and CT scans use very low levels of radiation, it remains ideal to avoid unnecessary exposure. Simply put, these imaging procedures should be only reserved for patients who need them. 


    If your child needs a CT scan, you may want to go to children’s hospitals where technicians routinely adjust their machines to compensate for a child’s smaller size. By contrast, general hospitals don’t always change the settings of their scanners. 


    In addition, you should tell your doctor if your child has had previous tests, including CT scans. In most cases, repeated CT scans should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. 


    Who Interprets the Results? 

    Radiologists are medical doctors who can interpret the CT scan results of your child. They will send an official report to your kid’s primary physician. 


    CT Scan for Children: What Parents Should Know












    For more information about CT scans for children, contact Catalina Imaging at (844) 949-1664. They are the leading mobile CT scanners that can help hospitals and other medical facilities provide high-quality 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 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 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 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


    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.