A CT scan of the throat is a powerful diagnostic tool that offers intricate and cross-sectional images of the entire neck area.
This advanced imaging technique empowers healthcare professionals to meticulously assess the neck's structural integrity, detect any irregularities, and precisely pinpoint the origin of discomfort.
What Can a CT Scan of the Throat and Neck Detect?
A CT scan of the throat and neck, also known as a cervical CT scan, is a valuable imaging tool that can detect a range of conditions and abnormalities affecting the neck and surrounding structures.
Some of the most common conditions and issues that a CT scan of the neck can detect include:
- Structural abnormalities in the bones, vertebrae, and neck joints include fractures, dislocations, degenerative changes, and bone spurs.
- Soft tissue abnormalities
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Cysts and tumors
- Infections and inflammation
- Nerve compression
- Vascular abnormalities
It is also important to note that a CT scan is a viable resource after a traumatic injury to the neck or throat. It can assess the extent of damage to bones, soft tissues, and surrounding structures.
A neck CT scan may also be recommended for individuals requiring neck surgery, providing detailed information to guide preoperative planning.
Is a CT Scan Used for Neck Pain?
A neck CT scan can evaluate neck pain, especially chronic or severe. However, it's worth noting that while CT scans are valuable tools, there might be other options for mild or acute neck pain.
Depending on the situation, most neck pain evaluation starts with a physical examination, medical history review, and less invasive imaging techniques like an X-ray.
Can a Neck CT Scan Detect Cancer?
Yes, a CT scan can detect signs of neck and throat cancer.
Some of the critical ways that neck CT scans can play a role in cancer detection include:
- Detecting tumors and abnormal growths in the neck area.
- Assessing the size, shape, and condition of lymph nodes of the throat.
- Helping determine the stage and extent of cancer.
- Identifying if cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
- Guiding the process of obtaining tissue samples for further testing and confirmation of certain types of cancer.
How Long Does a CT Angiogram of the Neck Take?
Similar to a CT scan, a CT angiogram of the neck combines a CT with a special dye or contrast to produce pictures of blood vessels and tissues in a section of your body.
Both a CT scan and a CTA usually take between 30 and 90 minutes.
For most, the procedure involves injecting contrast dye through an IV and a series of scans to image blood vessels.
Your exact procedure time may vary based on factors like the complexity of the scan and the images needed.
Understanding Soft Tissue Neck CT Scan with Contrast
A neck CT scan with contrast is a specialized imaging procedure that focuses on examining the internal structures of the neck using contrast dye.
The primary purpose of this procedure is to obtain detailed images of the soft tissues, blood vessels, and other structures within the neck region.
A contrast dye is injected into the patient intravenously to enhance the visibility of the targeted neck structures. This dye highlights blood vessels and other soft tissues during the scan, allowing for more precise imaging.
During your neck CT scan, you'll be positioned on a scanner table, and the scanner will capture a series of cross-sectional images from various angles.
After your CT scan of the neck, the contrast dye is flushed from your system, and you'll be monitored briefly for any potential reactions.
A radiologist will analyze the captured images to interpret the findings and provide valuable insight into your health and neck-related issues.
Schedule a CT Scan of Your Throat and Neck With Valley Radiology
At Valley Radiology, we place your health and well-being at the forefront of care, ensuring accurate and dependable imaging outcomes that align with your health and wellness goals.
When you or someone close is struggling with neck pain or other neck-related symptoms, a neck CT scan may be the best diagnosis option for you. It is vital in pinpointing the root cause and facilitating appropriate treatment.
Don’t continue to live with chronic or unrelenting neck pain.
Please note that a referral from your primary care provider or specialist is required for a throat and neck MRI.
If you have been referred to us for a CT scan of your neck, you will be contacted by our schedulers to schedule your exam. Contact us today if you have additional questions or need to schedule independently.