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8110 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

Computed Tomography (CT)


Computed Tomography (CT) is an imaging procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to create detailed images of cross-sections (or “slices”) of body tissues, bones, fats and organs from different angles.

In standard X-rays, a beam of energy is aimed at the body part being studied. A plate behind the body part captures the variations of the energy beam after it passes through skin, bone, muscle, and other tissue. While healthcare providers can get much information from a standard X-ray, it does not give a lot of detail about internal organs and other structures.

In a CT scan, an X-ray beam moves in a circle around the body. This allows many different views of the same organ or structure. The X-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the X-ray data and displays it in a 2-D form on a monitor.

This scan is used for the diagnosis of diseases and conditions, such as coronary artery disease, blood vessel aneurysms, blood clots; spinal conditions; kidney and bladder stones; cancer; abscesses; inflammatory diseases; and injuries to the head, skeletal system, and internal organs.

In addition to being used to diagnose, the CT scan information can help your doctor plan medical, surgical or radiation treatment.

Before Your Procedure

Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time. (For MRI and nuclear medicine studies, please arrive 30 minutes before your appointment time.)

Bring the following information with you:

  • A signed prescription for an imaging study (unless your doctor’s office has either faxed an order or indicated they entered the order directly into Inova’s electronic medical records system)
  • Insurance card
  • Photo ID (e.g., license, passport)
  • Any previous exam films and reports performed at a non-Inova facility, including X-rays, mammograms, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds
  • Implant card, if applicable

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