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Starship Paediatric Neurosurgery

Public Service, Neurosurgery, Paediatrics

CT Scan

"CT" stands for Computerised Tomography.  It is a process which produces x-ray pictures as cross-sectional images (slices) of the body.  This technology allows the doctors to see details of the brain, spine and other internal organs that are not visible on plain x-ray. 

It is possible that before or during the scan the child will be given intravenous contrast medicine. This is sometimes necessary to produce better results, as it will make the organ under investigation stand out in relation to the surrounding tissues.  In neurosurgery contrast is often used for looking for infection or tumours.

The CT scanner consists of a doughnut or ring-shaped structure, as well as a table which the child will lie on.  During the scan the table will automatically move, as will the ring-shaped structure.  The child will need to lie flat on their back and it will only take a few minutes.   It does not hurt.  A parent or caregiver can be present during the scan if this will help to settle the child.  Some children under the age of 3 years old may require some oral sedation prior to the scan as it is imperative that the child lie still. 

This page was last updated at 10:21AM on July 12, 2021.