Head CT Scan

Multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) of the head uses special X-ray equipment to help assess head injuries, severe headaches, dizziness and other symptoms of aneurysms, bleeding, stroke and brain tumors. It also helps your doctor assess your face, sinuses and skull or to plan radiation therapy for a brain tumor. In an emergency, it can detect internal injuries and bleeding quickly enough to help save lives.

Tell your doctor if there is a possibility that you are pregnant and talk about recent illnesses, health conditions, medications you are taking and allergies. A few hours before that, you will be ordered not to eat or drink anything. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothes. You may be asked to wear a hospital gown.

What is CT scanning of the head?

Multi-slice computed tomography, better known as MSCT, is a diagnostic test of the medical image. Like traditional X-rays, it creates multiple images or images of the inside of the body.

Cross-sectional images generated during MSCT scanning can be reshaped into multiple planes. They can even generate three-dimensional images. These images can be viewed on a computer monitor, printed on film or a 3D printer, or transferred to a CD or DVD.

MSCT images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide more detail than traditional X-rays, especially soft tissues and blood vessels.

MSCT head scanning provides more detailed information on head injuries, stroke, brain tumors and other brain diseases than regular radiographs (X-rays).

What are some common uses of Head CT scan?

MSCT head scanning is commonly used to detect:

  • bleeding, brain injury and skull fractures in patients with head injuries.
  • bleeding caused by a ruptured or leaking aneurysm in a patient with a sudden severe headache.
  • a blood clot or bleeding in the brain soon after the patient shows symptoms of a stroke.
  • stroke, especially with a technique called MSCT head perfusion.
  • brain tumors.
  • enlarged brain cavities in patients with hydrocephalus.
  • diseases or malformations of the skull.

MSCT head scanning is also performed for:

  • assessment of the extent of bone and soft tissue damage in patients with facial trauma and planning of surgical reconstruction.
  • diagnosing temporal lobe disease on the side of the skull, which can cause hearing problems.
  • confirmation of whether inflammation or other changes are present in the paranasal sinuses.
  • planning radiation therapy for brain tumors or other tissues.
  • the passage of a needle used to obtain a tissue sample (biopsy) from the brain.
  • assessment of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and blood vessels by a technique called MSCT angiography.

How to prepare for Head CT scan?

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes during the test. You may need to wear a dress during the procedure.

Metal objects, including jewelry, glasses, dentures and hairpins, can affect CT images. Leave them at home or remove them before testing. You may be asked to remove hearing aids and dental prostheses. Women will be asked to remove bras that contain a metal bottom wire. You may be asked to remove any piercings.

A few hours before that, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything if contrast material will be used in your test. You should tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking and if you have allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, your doctor may prescribe medication (usually steroids) to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. To avoid unnecessary delays, consult a doctor before the exact time of the examination.

Also tell your doctor about any recent illnesses or other medical conditions and whether you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney or thyroid disease. Any of these conditions can increase the risk of side effects.

The radiologist should also know if you have asthma, multiple myeloma or any heart, kidney or thyroid disorder or diabetes -especially if you are taking medication for these diseases.

Women should always inform their doctor and CT technician if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

The cost of a CT Head scan

The price of a Head CT scanner is 11,000 dinars, with a contrast agent – 14,200 dinars.