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Departments & Programs,UW Hospital and Clinics

Computed Tomography (CT) Services

Computed Tomography (CT) Services - Departments & Programs, UW Hospital and Clinics

Computed Tomography (CT) Services is a business unit of the Department of Radiology. Computed Tomography (CT) - sometimes called CAT scan - uses special X-ray equipment to obtain image data from different angles around the body, then uses computer processing of the information to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs. CT imaging is particularly useful because it can show several types of tissue with great clarity, including organs such as the liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys. 

CT Services plays a vital role in UWHC's mission of enhanced access to and delivery of quality patient care. With over 45,000 procedures every year and a dedicated team of radiologists, CT is a key player in the department.


CT Procedure Showcase

The following procedures are part of the expanding repertoire of the Computed Tomography Services unit of the Department of Radiology.

Learn more about our state-of-the-art services:


Can a patient with a metallic implant, pacemaker, filter or stent get a CT scan?

Yes. A CT scan uses X-ray based technology, unlike MRI, which uses magnetic fields.

Do inpatients need to be accompanied/escorted for CT procedures during weekends/holidays and off-hours (2330 - 0700 hrs.)?

Yes. During these hours, the CT department is staffed for emergency CT scans and additional help with patient monitoring and moving the patient on and off the table is always required from unit staff.

For which CT procedures should a patient be NPO?

For any Abdomen/Pelvis IV contrast based procedures, a patient should be NPO for four hours prior to a scan.

How do I mix oral contrast with Gastrografin for a CT procedure?

Each dose of Gastrografin comes from Pharmacy in a pre-measured 4 c.c. vial. Each vial needs to be in diluted in 200 c.c. of a clear liquid (water, apple juice or Kool-Aid work well). Gastrografin should not be diluted with ice or anything carbonated.

How do I schedule a CT scan during the off-hours?

The ordering physician places the order in Health Link. The CT technologist will acquire radiologist protocol. The case will be scheduled according to priority.

What do I need to know about IV access for patients prior to a CT scan?

The IV site needs to be a in a prominent vessel with a large enough IV gauge for viscous contrast to be injected at high pressures and for large amount of volume. It is recommended that a 20g or larger IV be used for any CT angio study. The CT Technologist will be able to direct appropriate IV size for study indicated.

When is sedation needed for a CT scan?

Sedation requirements are best judged by the ordering physician(s) and in case of minors by parent(s).

Why does a patient need to drink contrast when you are injecting contrast? Should the patient be pre-medicated?

The Barium-based contrast is used to outline the inside of the small and large intestines. The IV non-iodinated contrast is used to highlight the vascular aspects of the organs.

If there is a known allergy to contrast, pre-medication is required.


Ordering Guidelines

CT-CTA Order Guidelines

Standard Operating Guidelines



Breast Imaging

Diagnostic Radiology

Interventional Radiology

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)