The state-of-the-art scanners at Washington Health System provide your doctor with the superior image quality required for the most accurate diagnosis. We offer the latest technological advancements in cardiac and vascular imaging. CT scanning rapidly produces detailed images of the body. This test may be used to visualize blood vessels, identify masses and tumors, or guide a radiologist to the correct area during a biopsy. It is valuable in diagnosing problems and injuries to the hands, feet and other skeletal structures. CT scans can quickly identify injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys and other internal organs. We are able to provide fast and accurate diagnoses while reducing radiation dose.

Your scan may require oral contrast (most abdomen and pelvic scans) and intravenous contrast.  Your physician will advise you of any preparation instructions required. Our staff will carefully screen you prior to your study to ensure your needs and medical history is taken into consideration.

Our CT scanners provide a customized radiation dose for each patient. This allows the highest quality images with the lowest possible dose of radiation. The ultra-fast scanning capabilities shorten exams so less contrast and radiation are required. The scanners have dose check software that alerts users if dose limits are exceeded prior to scanning. The care and safety of patients is Washington Health System’s primary concern.

For more information, to schedule an appointment or if you need to cancel your appointment please call (724) 250-4300 as soon as possible.

Our scanners are fully accredited by the American College of Radiology—all equipment and techniques used meet or exceed nationally accepted quality assurance and safety guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our multislice CT scanners provide the highest quality images with the lowest possible dose. Our state-of–the-art scanner (PRIME 80) minimizes patient radiation exposure. To make sure the exam is as safe as possible, the system includes advanced radiation dose reduction technology. Safety is never a choice you should have to make when getting a scan. Our state-of–the-art scanner will automatically adjust to patients with irregular heartbeats, providing quicker, more conclusive exam results. The CT scanner gives your doctor the superior image quality required for the most accurate diagnosis. The scanner accommodates patients weighing up to 450 pounds. The scanner acquires the images in just a few seconds while you are comfortably lying on the patient table. The exam is completed within a single breath hold. The CT scanners are accredited by the American College of Radiology.

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You will be asked to remove any clothing that has metal or plastic buttons, zippers, snaps, etc. You may be given a gown to wear during the exam.
  • Please continue to take all your prescribed medications (with water only) unless otherwise instructed.
  • For chest exams, it is NOT necessary to drink an oral contrast.
  • If the scan is ordered with an iodinated contrast injection, do not eat for approximately three hours prior to exam. Fluids may be taken.
  • Be sure to let your physician know about any known allergy to iodine. If allergic to iodine, you will be given medication to take the night before and the day of the scan to counteract any allergic reaction you may have to the iodinated contrast during the procedure.
  • Please bring a list of all your current medications with you to the hospital.
  • If you are having the iodinated contrast injection, have diabetes, and taking a medication containing metformin, it must be held for 48 hours after your exam. Contact your doctor to restart your medicine.
  • If scheduled at the hospital, you must register at the Admitting/Registration office on the main (second) floor one hour before your exam time. If your scan is with the iodinated contrast material, you will be instructed to proceed to the Lab and then to the Radiology Department.

One of our board-certified radiologists and or cardiologist will analyze the images and send a report to your primary care physician and the physician who ordered the exam. This detailed report will be sent to your physician’s office within 24–48 hours. The physician’s office will call you or the results will be reviewed at your next appointment.

Our CT scanners use AIDR (Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction). AIDR is the iterative dose reconstruction software that reduces the radiation dose compared to conventional scanning. It helps achieve the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principle, while still producing the image quality needed for accurate diagnoses.

Yes, you or your physician may call (724) 250-4300 to schedule your exam.

A prescription is necessary for you to have the exam. Please remember to place the prescription in your wallet prior to leaving the doctor’s office, so it will be on your person when you arrive for the exam. If you do not have a prescription or your doctor has not sent one to the hospital, your CT exam may be delayed.

In rare cases, people have an allergic reaction to the iodinated contrast. They may experience a mild itching or hives. A more severe reaction would result in extreme difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath and swelling of the throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, tell the technologist immediately so you can be treated promptly. Our CT department is well equipped to deal with any type of reaction.

Women should inform their physician or technologist if there is a chance that they are pregnant. The amount of radiation a person receives during a CT exam is kept as low as possible while still achieving an optimal image. The CT exam is used to provide the best possible care to the patient. This risk can be outweighed by the diagnostic benefits from CT in diagnosing conditions and diseases that are already present.

Additional information about CT is available from:

Headquarters of the American College of Radiology
1891 Preston White Drive
Reston, VA 20191-4397

1-800-227-5463 (1-800-ACR-LINE)

acr.org