VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital utilizes an advanced computed tomography (CT) scanner system with enhanced features for greater patient comfort and safety, quicker exam times, and improved image quality for faster, more effective diagnosis and treatment. This is particularly important when determining the extent of injuries in trauma cases, where every second counts.
While CT uses X-ray technology, it is distinguished from other imaging tools like traditional X-ray and MRI by its ability to display a combination of soft tissue (like muscles, tissue, organs and fat), bones and blood vessels all in a single image. Clinicians perform CT scans to diagnose kidney, lung, liver, spine, blood diseases, cancer, tumors and cysts, as well as blood clots, hemorrhages and infections.
During a CT exam, a patient lies on a table and is slowly moved into the large donut-shaped opening of the scanner. Once inside, a series of X-ray beams create hundreds of cross-sectional pictures that represent slices of the patient's body. Seconds later, the system's computer assembles the slices into three-dimensional images that are interpreted by a clinician.
Multi-detector CT has dramatically improved clinicians' ability to accurately diagnose disease at an early stage. Offering superior imaging capabilities, it is a powerful diagnostic tool that uses rotating X-rays to penetrate body tissues, generating multiple slice images, which can detect more than traditional radiography.
CT can also be used to guide a biopsy of an abnormality within the body less invasively than with surgery. Veterinary patients need to be anesthetized for CT scans, so that they will hold still long enough for the examination. Every patient that presents for a CT scan will receive a thorough physical exam, and will have a review of recent bloodwork and other testing done prior to anesthesia to ensure they are good candidates for anesthesia. Also, every patient anesthetized at VCA HAH is closely monitored while under anesthesia by a veterinarian and a certified veterinary technician. VCA HAH has a dual slice CT scanner, capable of helical scanning, a technology which allows more rapid scanning of the patient than non-helical CT machines. Surgical suites and the ICU (with board certified surgeons, internal medicine specialists, neurologists, emergency and critical care, and other specialists) are close by.
Computed tomography (CT) is a diagnostic tool that uses x-rays to obtain cross-sectional images of the body. CT is commonly used to image:
• Lungs and other thoracic (chest) structures
• Orthopedic conditions such as elbow dysplasia, complex fractures, tumors or infections, etc.
• Skull, nasal cavity and sinuses, middle or inner ear disease.
• Can be used to diagnose vascular liver shunts and other abdominal diseases such as adrenal tumors or liver tumors, assisting a surgeon to plan a difficult surgery to remove or treat these abnormalities.