CT head (summary)

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

CT head is a standard test performed in the assessment of a heterogeneous group of patients who present with a wide variety of symptoms. CT is particularly useful because it is widely available and relatively easy to perform. It allows rapid assessment and diagnosis of a wide gamut of conditions that may be life-threatening.

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  • indications (acute)
  • important pathology
    • acute haemorrhage
    • hydrocephalus
    • extra-axial collections
  • benefits
    • quick and readily available
  • limitations
    • acute stroke is not visible initially
    • modest radiation dose
  • procedure
    • patient positioned supine on CT table
    • scanned from vertex to foramen magnum
  • CT head with contrast
    • assessment of mass lesion
    • often used as the initial assessment prior to MRI
  • CT angiogram circle of Willis
    • pump-injected contrast-enhanced examination
    • images acquired when contrast reaches the arterial system
  • CT venogram head
    • pump-injected contrast-enhanced examination
    • images acquired when contrast reaches the venous system
  • MRI brain
    • further assessment where CT is normal
    • assessment of mass lesions
    • primary investigation in chronic headache or longstanding seizures

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Article Information

rID: 51185
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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