Why Might I Need Additional Computed Tomography (CT) Scans?

Published: Friday, August 13, 2021

By: Tracy Greer RT(R)(M)(CT), CT | Imaging Modality Manager

When you are injured, the best thing to do is contact your primary care physician. In some cases, your doctor may require diagnostic imaging to better understand what is happening inside your body. One of the most common and effective diagnostic imaging procedures are Computed Tomography (CT) scans.

What are Computed Tomography (CT) Scans?

Computed Tomography (CT) Scans show a 3D view of the section of the body being studied. Patients who have suffered traumas are often sent to receive CT after initial examination.

How Long Do They Take? Why Do I Sometimes Need an additional CT Scan and Not An X-Ray?

Whole-body CT scans are performed in about 6-7 minutes and provide a wealth of information compared to conventional X-rays. CT scans are also useful for monitoring a patient’s progress during or after treatment.

Sometimes, additional imaging is needed after a trauma and it is not always explained to the family or the patient.

Reasons why a Trauma patient would need CT Scans repeated after being transferred from another facility.

Poor quality/unacceptable images

Additional CTs are often needed if their original images have poorly timed contrast, non-contrasted scans of the chest/abdomen/pelvis, no neck reconstructions or blurry images from excessive motion artifact.

Possible missed injury

For example, patients with cervical spine fractures need a CT angiogram of the neck. Patients with pelvic fractures, lower rib fractures or spine fractures need additional CT imaging of their abdomen/pelvis.

Incompatible software

Due to software issues, previous images may not have loaded, windowed, scrolled or viewed satisfactorily.

Incomplete Imaging

Additional studies are needed for patients with incomplete imaging, including CTs of the upper abdomen that did not include the pelvis or a patient with an adequate CT chest or abdomen/pelvis scan.

Learn more about CT Services

Questions about the CT services offered at NGMC? Call 770-219-7666 to speak with a member of our team!