Diagnostic Imaging Services
CT Radiation Dose Reduced
At MetroWest Medical Center, we know you are concerned about CT dosage, please click here to learn more about why you should get a CT Scan and what MetroWest is doing to decrease your dosage.
We pledge to Image Wisely & Image Gently
At MetroWest Medical Center, we are focused on making sure you receive the lowest radiation dose possible. Our radiology team has made the pledge to both Image Wisely and Image Gently. Image Wisely focuses on lowering the amount of radiation used in medically necessary imaging studies and eliminating unnecessary procedures for adults
The Image Gently campaign focuses on ensuring your child receives the smallest amount of radiation possible during an imaging study. Answers to some commonly asked questions are provided here. If you have additional questions, please let us know.
Computed Tomography (CT)
CT stands for Computed Tomography and is a painless examination that produces a series of computerized images of your anatomy that are useful in detecting many medical conditions that may not appear on traditional X-Rays. The donut shaped CT scanner houses an X-Ray tube that moves rapidly around a specific anatomical area sending signals to a computer. The computer reconstructs these signals to form a complete image of your internal anatomy. During your CT exam, you will be asked to lie very still on a padded table for approximately 15 minutes. The images are then sent to our PACS System for the radiologist to quickly interpret and send results to your physician.
At MetroWest Medical Center, we’re committed to bringing the latest technology to our local communities. That’s why we are proud to announce the addition of a new CT scanner at Framingham Union Hospital. Framingham Union Hospital is one of the first in the nation to install the SOMATOM® Definition AS from Siemens Healthcare. The SOMATOM Definition AS is the world’s first CT scanner that adapts to virtually any patient, provides each person with complete dose protection and offers clinicians improved diagnostic information.
CT Radiation Dose in the News
Two new studies published by the Archives of Internal Medicine in December caution against the overuse of CT scans and other medical technologies that use radiation. Although all CT scanners have to use some amount of radiation to create images of the body, MWMC is doing our part to limit our patients’ exposure to radiation. MWMC has always imaged based on the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable). MWMC’s new SOMATOM Definition CT scanner uses state-of-the-art technology to ensure only the dose that is clinically relevant to the patient is applied. Another way we’re monitoring dose is by having our equipment inspected every 6 months to promote low dose protocols.
Preparing for a CT
If your CT exam requires the use of an intravenous contrast agent, your technologist may start an IV and you may be given an oral contrast agent to drink prior to coming for your appointment. These contrast agents are visible to the computer and allow greatly enhanced CT images. You will be asked to pick up this oral contrast in advance at MetroWest Medical Center. Please check with your referring physician as to how they recommend you obtain your contrast prior to the exam. Continue taking your daily medications prior to your exam. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a contrast agent, have multiple allergies, or suffer from asthma, it is very important that you notify the technologists when you arrive for your appointment. If your physician requests oral contrast, you must stay on clear liquids 5 hours prior to starting the oral contrast. All other CT exams allow you to have clear liquids only, 3 hours prior to your exam.
For more information about any of these procedures, including how to prepare and what to expect, visit www.radiologyinfo.com