What is a Low Dose Lung MDCT?
It is Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the chest using the latest 128 multi-row detector computed tomography (MDCT) scanner. This advanced technology is also known as Volume CT (VCT) that delivers low dose of x-ray for the scan.

MDCT-scanner

The 128 multi-row detector computed tomography (MDCT) scanner
How safe is the Computed Tomography (CT) scan?
It is a low-dose scan that is done by minimizing the radiation needed to produce a scan good enough for a radiologist to interpret and make a diagnosis.

Why should I have a Computed Tomography (CT) scan?
To detect early lung cancer.

Who should have the Computed Tomography (CT) scan?
Lung cancer is the commonest cancer among men in Malaysia with an incidence of 13 cases per 100,000 population (Source: National Cancer Registry Malaysia 2003)

CT scan of the lung is indicated for those who are at a higher risk for lung cancer, especially:

  1. smoker
  2. history of asbestos exposure
  3. history of pulmonary tuberculosis

How is a Computed Tomography (CT) scan done?
You will have to remove all your accessories before being taken into the CT suite. You will be positioned on the CT couch and be lightly strapped. You will be asked to hold your breath for 10-20 seconds to ensure that the images taken will not be blurred. You will feel the couch moving into the gantry (a doughnut-shaped device) during the scan.

CT-scan

A subject undergoing a computed tomography (CT) scan
How can I prepare for the Computed Tomography (CT) scan?
No special preparation is needed for a low dose lung MDCT. If you are a woman, you should ensure that you are not pregnant to prevent inadvertent radiation to your foetus.

How long does a CT scan take?
The CT machine scans from head to toe in less than 10 seconds. However, the total time taken to prepare and position the patient for the scan is about 10-20 minutes.

What happens after the scan?
There is actually nothing much to anticipate after the scan.

Are there any possible complications?
Although a CT scan involves an exposure to x-ray, the benefits of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the risk. The radiation dose from this procedure is comparable to an examination consisting of conventional posterior-anterior and lateral chest X-rays.

What if my CT scan is positive or equivocal?
Depending on the size of the growth detected you may need follow-up scan or to undergo another CT lung scan where radiological contrast media is given. This scan will further characterize the abnormality seen on the low-dose scan. Subsequently, other investigations such as a scope or biopsy may be necessary.

WCT-scan-analysis
Depending on the size of the growth detected you may need follow-up scan or to undergo another CT lung scan where radiological contrast media is given. This scan will further characterize the abnormality seen on the low-dose scan. Subsequently, other investigations such as a scope or biopsy may be necessary.

 

A radiologist will analyse the CT scan
Does a negative CT scan mean that I am free from any lung cancer?
Yes. However, while all efforts will be made to detect any abnormalities, technically, it may still be possible to miss a very small cancer.

Disclaimer: This is only general information. A doctor should be contacted if you need any medical advice or if medical decisions need to be made.