Computed tomography (CT) scans, also called computed axial tomography (CAT) scans, are a medical imaging method that uses X-rays to generate detailed cross-sectional images of the body. These image "slices" are used to detect broken bones, cancers, blood clots, signs of heart disease and internal bleeding and to guide biopsies.

Advanced Technology for Diagnosis & Treatment

Portsmouth Regional Hospital offers the most advanced CT diagnostic imaging technology in the Seacoast region, operated by specialists with national CT certification. Our innovative tools include 64-slice CT scanning and a large-opening scanner with tumor localization technology. Used with our radiation planning system, the scans can simulate treatment in 3D—allowing for the highest degree of accuracy in radiotherapy.

We are now offering Low-Dose CT Screening for Lung Cancer. A low-dose CT scan may help spot the early signs of lung cancer, when it's easier to treat. The US Preventative Task Force (USPTF) recommends that smokers with a history of 30 pack years (1 pack-day for 30 years) get a low-dose CT scan every year. This low radiation scan takes just 5 minutes and is painless, with no prep required.

We perform CT coronary angiograms to assess blood flow to the heart for diagnosing suspected coronary heart disease, and we use CT scanning to perform virtual colonoscopies.

The Radiation Right safety program at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where we adhere to nationally approved safety protocols that prevent accidental or excessive exposure, ensures you receive the lowest effective dose of radiation.

How You Benefit

CT scanning is fast, painless and usually noninvasive. Compared to regular X-rays, a CT scan provides extremely detailed high-resolution images and captures organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels all at the same time. With our advanced CT technology and highly trained technologists, you're assured that your doctors base your care decisions on the most accurate information available.

What to Expect

A CT scan usually takes only 10-15 minutes. Depending on the type of scan, an intravenous (IV) needle may be placed in your hand or arm and used to inject a contrast dye during the test, or the contrast agent may be given orally as a drink.

Learn more about computed tomography scanning in our online Health Library.

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