The duration of a Sinus CT scan is relatively short, typically lasting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. The actual time may vary depending on the number of views requested by your doctor, the technology used, and whether contrast dye is used. Rest assured, the study is swift and painless.
A CBCT scan shows detailed images of the bone. The scan helps diagnose diseases of the jaw, dentition, bony structures of the face, nasal cavity, and sinuses.
Persistent nasal congestion and stuffiness
• Chronic sinus infections that do not go away with antibiotic treatment
• Frequent headaches or pain in the sinus region
• Pain or swelling in the face, eyes, or ears
• Frequent tearing of the eyes
• Decreased sense of smell
• Pain, numbness, or loosening of teeth
• A lump on the face, nose, or inside the mouth
- What Does A Sinus CT Look For
- Who Is Authorized to Perform A CBCT Scan?
- 3-D Sinus Imaging – CT Scan of the Sinuses
- CT Sinuses
- What is CT (Computed Tomography) of the Sinuses?
- Sinusitis (Rhinosinusitis) Imaging
- Is A Sinus CT Painful?
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What Does A Sinus CT Look For
In many ways, a CT scan works like other x-ray exams. Different body parts absorb x-rays in different amounts. This difference allows the doctor to distinguish body parts from one another on an x-ray or CT image. A conventional x-ray exam directs a small amount of radiation through the body part under examination. A special electronic image recording plate captures the image. Bones appear white on the x-ray. Soft tissue, such as the heart or liver, shows up in shades of gray. Air appears black. With CT scanning, several x-ray beams and electronic x-ray detectors rotate around you. These measure the amount of radiation being absorbed throughout your body. Sometimes, the exam table will move during the scan. A special computer program processes this large volume of data to create two-dimensional cross-sectional images of your body. The system displays the images on a computer monitor. CT imaging is sometimes compared to looking into a loaf of bread by cutting the loaf into thin slices. When the computer software reassembles the image slices, the result is a very detailed multidimensional view of the body’s interior. Nearly all CT scanners can obtain multiple slices in a single rotation. These multi-slice (multidetector) CT scanners obtain thinner slices in less time. This results in more detail.
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Who Is Authorized to Perform A CBCT Scan?
The scan is completely painless. All that is required of the patient is to sit or stand still throughout the process which takes a few minutes.
Although CT scanning provides an excellent anatomic display, it generally does not help in predicting the histologic nature of the pathologic process. On CT scans, it is difficult or impossible to differentiate tumor tissue from retained fluid in sinuses, where the drainage of a sinus is blocked by obstruction from the tumor.
Does your doctor prescribe antibiotics every time you get a sinus infection? Wouldn’t it be better to fix whatever is causing the problem, instead of just treating your symptoms? If you have sinus or ear problems, you know how frustrating it can be living with pressure, pain, and an inability to breathe. It can affect your sleep, your focus at work, and your quality of life in general. Some ear, nose, and throat doctors in NY can only make an educated guess to diagnose and treat your sinusitis; but the allergy specialists at NYASC can use our in-office sinus CT scanner to confirm your diagnosis before treatment. It’s fast, convenient, and accurate.
3-D Sinus Imaging – CT Scan of the Sinuses
Computed tomography (CT) scanning is the examination of choice in sinusitis, particularly in cases of chronic sinus disease, providing excellent detail of sinus anatomy. However, CT is usually not useful in acute sinusitis, as diagnosis in acute cases is primarily based on clinical findings. Good anatomic definition is desirable before surgical intervention. [14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19]
The main difference between CT and CBCT is the shape of the beams—CT scans use fan-shaped x-ray beams that rotate while the patient advances. CBCT scans use a cone-shaped area detector that does not require patient movement.
Tell your doctor if there’s a possibility you are pregnant and discuss any recent illnesses, medical conditions, medications you’re taking, and allergies. This exam does not commonly require contrast material; however, in some situations your doctor may request that contrast material be given. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. These medications must be taken 12 hours prior to your exam. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may need to change into a gown for the procedure.
For children, the radiologist will adjust the CT scanner technique to their size and the area of interest to reduce the radiation dose.
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What is CT (Computed Tomography) of the Sinuses?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is generally reserved for the evaluation of any complications of local sinus infections, particularly suspected intracranial extension.  The ability to image in any plane is a considerable advantage in MRI.  MRI has a high degree of specificity in differentiating chronic invasive fungal rhinosinusitis (CIFRS) from sinonasal squamous cell carcinomas (SNSCC).  On MRI scans, the bony margins of the sinuses are imaged as a plane of absent signal intensity. Moreover, the signal intensity from the high fat content of bone narrow, as in the basisphenoid and petrous apices and around the frontal sinuses, can be confusing, particularly because fluid retained in the sinuses has signal intensity similar to that of the high water content.
South Jersey Radiology Associates (SJRA) is in-network with 99% of health insurance plans for CT imaging and provides scans at up to 60% less than the cost of hospital-based imaging. SJRA offers same-day and next-day appointment options with many locations offering evening and weekend hours to fit your busy schedule.
In general, nonenhanced CT scans suffice in cases of uncomplicated sinusitis. Multisection CT seems to have the potential to replace primary coronal CT of the paranasal sinuses without any loss of image quality, and it may even improve the overall diagnostic value. However, the doses of radiation may still have to be reduced.
Sinusitis (Rhinosinusitis) Imaging
Reach out to any of the following locations to schedule your appointment:
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Is A Sinus CT Painful?
A CT scan generates images that can be reformatted in multiple planes. It can even generate three-dimensional images. Your doctor can review these images on a computer monitor, print them on film or via a 3D printer, or transfer them to a CD or DVD.
A conventional full-body CT scanner involves the patient lying on their back in a confined, cylindrical space. Our CT scanner is different because it focuses on the sinuses. Therefore, only your head needs to be inside the scanner. Our scanner also has an open design that minimizes claustrophobia and discomfort. Our CT scanner uses cone beam technology to focus just on the sinuses. This allows us to minimize radiation while providing a high tech three-dimensional image of the sinuses.
The scan can also show if you have nasal polyps or sinus cysts. Many conditions of nasal polyps can be treated without surgery. However, in the event that you do need surgery, our NYC allergists will refer you to an ENT specialist.