Normal CT of the
chest.

The arrow highlights
a large left lung mass.

CT of the chest
demonstrating
metastatic spread
of lung cancer
into the lymph nodes
near the large blood
vessels of the chest.
 

What to Expect During a CT of the Chest

The exact procedure you will follow may be different than the information below, but this is a general description of the exam.

A CT technologist will position you on the exam table. For most exams, a needle will be placed in a vein of the arm or hand to allow iodine contrast to be injected during the scan. This allows your doctor to better see the arteries and veins in your chest and lungs.

As the exam begins, you will be asked to take several deep breaths and to then hold your breath for a short period of time while the scan is made. You will feel the exam table move as the scan progresses. During the scan you will hear a "whirring" sound as the x-ray tube rotates around you. If an iodine contrast is used, you will feel a warm sensation during the injection. This is a normal response to the contrast injection.

Typically, the exam takes 15 to 20 minutes to perform.
 

What to Expect During a CT of the Brain

What to Expect During a CT of the Abdomen

When Your Child Needs a CT Scan

Return to Overview of CT