To examine the source of back pain, as well as in cases of suspected tumor or fracture, the examination helps to assess spinal structure before and after surgery in the area, to measure bone density in patients at risk for osteoporosis.
In which cases should a spine CT be performed?
The most common cases are the discovery or assessment of spinal damage in case of injury.
Identify fractures in the event of a spinal injury.
Assessment of the spine before and after surgery.
Spinal pain assessment, CT is most commonly used to diagnose a disc herniation as a source of pain.
Assessment of spine bone density, and predict the chance of fractures in osteoporosis patients.
Assessment of spinal cord tumors, sometimes those that have metastasized there from other parts of the body, for example, in the case of prostate cancer.
Diagnosis of intervertebral disc diseases.
Assistance in training and diagnosis for surgical procedures such as taking a biopsy, or draining liquid from a local infection.
How should one prepare for a spine CT?
It is advised to arrive without jewelry or metals that may interfere with the scan and wear comfortable clothing.
In addition, the patient may sometimes be asked to remove their hearing aid, or detachable dental devices. Women are advised to arrive wearing a bra that does not contain metal.
The doctor should be informed of any contrast agent sensitivity. Patients with diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, heart disease and asthma should consult a doctor regarding the vitality of the examination, as there is a higher risk of problems due to the contrast agent. In cases of sensitivity to iodine or asthma, anti-allergic drugs will be administered prior to the scan to prevent allergic reactions to the contrast agent.
In cases where a contrast agent is to be used, the patient may have to fast for 6-4 hours prior to the examination.
Women at the age of fertility should notify the doctor if they may be pregnant. The examination is not recommended for pregnant women, as it is may harm the fetus.