Advantages and Disadvantages of CT Scan - Computed Tomography
Your physician or health specialist may recommend you and PET /CT scan done for ailments that may be overwhelmingly helpful. PET/ CT scan (Computer Tomography) and PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography) are the revolutionary techniques to find the severity of the disease when it’s hard to diagnose. The Advantages and Disadvantages of CT Scan will help you know how good, bad, or reliable these medical advancements are.
What is a CT Scan?
Computerized Tomography is one of the two advanced level technological methods used commonly in medicine today. This method uses X-Rays to detect critical information about the function and form of cells and organs inside the body.
A combined PET/CT scan reveals in-depth details from a single imaging session about the cells, their structures, and the functioning of body tissues and organs. However, it’s the accuracy that counts among the greatest advantages of CT Scan.
How CT Scan Works?
In a CT scan process, the patient lies still in a CT scanner machine between the X-ray tube and the detectors facing each other. The X-Ray tube and detectors rotate around the patient, and information is obtained, usually in slices image by image. A computer then constructs the data.
The X-rays are taken from different angles and then processed by a computer to create a 3D cross-sectional in a single plane. This method is slightly different from conventional radiology as every image individually represents different tissues differently (grey color). For example, the difference between fat and soft tissues and between the brain and cerebrospinal fluid can be spotted easily.
What are the Advantages of CT Scan?
There are numerous advantages to having a PET/CT scan that has enabled patients, and medical professionals to adapt to this modern method to diagnose critical issues. Some notable advantages of CT Scan are listed below.
1. Accurate Diagnosis
One of the main advantages of a CT scan is that you can easily detect abnormal conditions in a patient’s body. Moreover, in case if someone already has a condition, CT scan PET scan can help you identify the severity of the ailment.
A PET scan can show the areas of increased activity within the body, while a CT scan alone produces detailed images of tissues and organs inside the body. These methods allow doctors to see exactly where the issues are and how their severity level is.
It is a relatively painless procedure that measures both anatomy and metabolic function within the patient’s body as images are captured in a single scan.
2. You can detect the issue in time
Time is of grave significance when a patient is suffering from illness. Performing a CT scan can help you save a great deal of time as it just takes about half an hour to complete the image-by-image scans. Once the doctors are sure of the root cause, they can start the necessary treatment right away.
3. CT Scan makes Oncological treatment
Every cancer patient needs to undergo a CT/PET Scan, which is necessary to detect how far the Tumor has spread inside their body. By identifying the size and growth of a Tumor, doctors can provide essential measures such as therapy or surgery on a patient.
4. Cost Reduction is one of major advantages of CT Scan
A CT scan can reveal the hidden issues that have remained undetected for a long while. As a result, not only can you treat the problem, but also save money on future treatment as you are prescribed the medication to treat the areas causing the trouble. A Computer Tomography scan also lets you determine the exact time to undergo surgery if your surgeon has been panning one.
What are the Disadvantages of CT Scan?
Even though the Computed Tomography (CT) method plays a pivotal role in healthcare, many disadvantages of CT Scan may need your attention. For example, this type of technological system can pose risks to pregnant women and diabetics if done in unsupervised conditions.
1. Cost is one of concerning disadvantages of CT Scan
The charge for a CT scan of the head, abdomen, or chest (with contrast) may range from $1,400 to $2,500. However, the same studies without contrast range from $1,300 to $2,300 less. CT scan costs in India can range from INR 1000 to INR 3500, which typically varies from public and private healthcare facilities.
While it’s easy to manage the scan costs and technician fees for some, some may not be able to get the right diagnosis due to lack of money or medical insurance. This can create a significant financial burden for patients, especially those who undergo multiple CT examinations.
2. Exposure to Higher Radiation
Modern CT scanners emit relatively high doses of ionizing radiation and can induce further health risks to patients. In addition, for those undergoing multiple CT examinations, contrast media may cause serious allergic reactions.
Also, Pregnant women should not undergo PET/CT scans because the radiations may be dangerous to the baby while pregnant or breastfeeding. On the other hand, Diabetics undergoing a CT scan need to take special care and precautions to avoid the combination of radioactive material with blood-glucose level. There can be some serious disadvantages of CT scan if the blood-sugar level is not adjusted in time.
3. Misinterpretation can lead to problems
A medical professional with a lack of adequate knowledge may misinterpret the root cause. This results in utter mismanagement, and patients may receive the wrong treatment.
As with all tests, CT scan be misinterpreted easily by the radiologist or the doctors. There have been a few cases where patients were diagnosed with issues, but their test reports came normal. A misleading result can incur more costs and emotional pain, and in the worst-case scenario, can lead to serious health problems.
4. Technical Glitches
Let's not forget that there's a machine operating behind the Tomography tests. It may break down like any other machine or turn faulty. There can be many disadvantages of CT Scan when it breaks down. Even a few minutes of downtime can cease patient-oriented activities to a large extent. I have observed this phenomenon in 3 different hospitals and consider it a sad reflection of today's practice of medicine.
In one in a 100 cases, even a CT Scan result may be misleading, especially when the patient's conditions prevail even after the diagnosis and applied treatment. Because CT is such a powerful diagnostic tool, physicians tend to accept these reports more often. Nevertheless, these "imaging diagnoses" are sometimes wrong.
Conclusion for Advantages and Disadvantages of CT Scan
Even though Computed tomography is a magnificent tool to identify health conditions, however, the given set of disadvantages of CT scan and technological limitations raise a few concerns. Therefore, whether you are a patient or medical professional, it’s always a good move to stay aware of the machinery and know-how of pros and cons of CT Scan methodology.