New Technology

St. Anthony’s Medical Center’s Siemens SOMATOM Emotion™ 16-slice CT scanner offers the region’s most advanced CT scanning capabilities.

What is a CT?
A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays and a computer to produce images of a cross-section of the body. The images produced by a CT scan are more detailed than those produced by traditional X-rays. This is because CT scanners rotate around your body, whereas stationary X-ray machines focus beams of radiation on a specific area of the body.

The computer creates cross-sectional images, or slices, that can be stored to an electronic data file, viewed on a monitor or printed on film. The slices can be stacked to produce three-dimensional models of organs rather than the two-dimensional images produced by normal X-rays.

Why would I need a CT scan?
The detailed images produced by a CT scan make it beneficial to medical staff in many ways. CT scans help doctors diagnose bone disorders, such as bone tumors and fractures. In addition, the procedure is useful when examining soft tissue, body organs and muscles, as well as blood vessels and the spinal cord. It can identify the location of a tumor, infection or blood clot, and it is also capable of detecting and monitoring diseases including cancer or heart disease. CT scans serve as a guide during surgery, biopsy, radiation and other medical procedures. CT is often used in trauma situations involving automobile and other serious accidents to detect internal bleeding and internal injuries to the brain, chest and abdomen.

With 16 detectors, St. Anthony’s scanner allows us to perform CT angiography by providing a clear view of veins and arteries. It also allows for trauma cases to be scanned from head to toe in approximately 10 minutes. The raw data can then be evaluated after the patient is back in the ER being stabilized and monitored. It’s this speed and exceptional image quality that allows for more accurate and timely diagnoses—right here in Morrilton. Click here to see images from our scanner.

What should I expect during a CT scan?
Some CT scans require the use of a contrast material called iodine dye, which makes structures and organs easier to see. The dye can be injected into a vein in your hand or arm, administered through a tube into your bladder or rectum, or you may drink the dye.

You will probably be asked to change into a hospital gown because snaps, buttons and zippers on street clothes can interfere with the scan. You will also be asked to remove your watch and/or any jewelry.

During the test, you will lie on a narrow table that is hooked to the CT scanner, which is a large donut-shaped machine. It is important that you lie extremely still. Any movement can blur the CT images. The table slides into the round opening of the scanner, and the scanner moves around your body. The X-rays are painless, but you may experience some discomfort from lying completely still on the table. Allow one hour for your CT scan. Most scans take from 15 to 60 minutes.

Afterwards, drink plenty of fluids for the next 24 hours to flush the contrast dye out of your body. The results of your CT scan are reviewed by radiologists and should be available to you within 24 hours after the test.

For more information on St. Anthony's radiology services, call (501) 977-2434.




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of the scan