Computed Tomography (CT)

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas
354 Santa Fe Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024 US
    Visiting Hours
    • 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    • Visiting hours may be adjusted based on the patient's needs or wishes.
    Emergency Services
    • The ER is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • Parking is free. Valet parking is $5.
    • Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    • 858-964-1012

Computed tomography, or CAT scan, converts 2-D pictures into 3-D pictures on a computer for in-depth clinical evaluations, and to help diagnose conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, vascular disease and spinal problems.

64-slice CT scanner

The quality of CT images is based upon the speed of the measurements made and the details of the reconstruction technique. Our state-of-the-art 64-slice CT scanner’s high speed allows it to produce a greater number of slices to create higher quality images, while minimizing radiation exposure to the patient.

Though all CT technology is advanced, the 64-slice CT scanner has numerous technological advances over its earlier predecessors. The new technology makes full angiography coverage possible, and images of the heart can be captured in a single breath-hold, making it for ideal for:

  • Angiography studies
  • Cardiac and coronary vessel analysis
  • Coronary artery calcification scoring
  • Kidney, liver, lung and abdominal exams
  • Oncology care
  • Pulmonary emboli
  • Spinal injuries
  • Stroke assessment
  • Trauma/emergency room procedures

How it works

CT imagery is based on X-ray technology that takes multiple images of the internal body. These images are taken in cross-sectional “slices” and put together by the computer to create fully composed images on the screen.

What to expect

When receiving a CT scan, you will lie on a special table and a technologist will help position you for the scan. CT procedures are done on an outpatient basis and can take anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour to complete.

Depending on the examination, you may also receive an intravenous injection of contrast solution (usually made up of air, barium sulfate and organic iodine compounds), which shows tissues and organs that would not otherwise be visible. Although CT scans are painless, patients who receive a contrast solution may experience some discomfort.

You may receive the contrast solution by mouth, injection, enema or through an IV line. Some patients can experience flushing, nausea, a headache or a salty metallic taste after receiving contrast. Patients who are allergic to shellfish may have an allergic reaction to the solution due to the iodine content. Itchiness or shortness of breath may indicate an allergic reaction, so please report these symptoms right away. If there is a possibility that you are pregnant, please notify your health care provider immediately.