CT Colonography

CT colonography, also called virtual colonoscopy, is generally performed as a screening exam for the detection of colon polyps, believed to be a precursor to many colon tumors. Early detection and treatment may prevent the formation of colon cancer. Current guidelines recommend all adults over 50 years of age (and some younger individuals, if indicated by family or personal history) undergo regular screening evaluation. CT colonography and colonoscopy both produce information on the health of a person’s large intestine (colon), but the CT method gathers images from the outside of the body while the endoscopic method requires mechanical examination with a viewing tube introduced through the anus. All current colon examinations require thorough cleansing of the colon for an accurate examination. Bowel cleansing consists of changes to the diet and a bowel preparation process starting the day prior to the procedure. Instructions and a preparation kit are sent in advance of the test. Sedation is not needed for the CT colonography. Patients are scanned on their back and stomach. The exam is over in only a few minutes.

The diagnostic and therapeutic services provided by UAB Radiology play an important role in the comprehensive care delivered at UAB, and Radiology works with every department within UAB Medicine. Our radiology and interventional radiology physicians are national leaders in their field and widely published in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. They are actively involved in testing and teaching for new techniques and equipment, and they partner with your other physicians to deliver care. UAB Radiology team members are committed to safety and use the American College of Radiology guidelines for dosage and safety procedures. UAB Interventional Radiology’s new ambulatory clinic – located within The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital – provides patients with enhanced pre-procedure evaluations, follow-up services, and more comprehensive care for complex conditions.

As part of a leading academic medical center, UAB Radiology oversees or participates in clinical trials that may provide new opportunities for low-dose drugs, more effective tests, and other new techniques and treatments that are not available elsewhere in the area. The extensive experience and expertise of our radiologists and technologists help ensure that the most accurate and in-depth testing is used in evaluating and treating your condition. We use the latest interventional devices and most advanced imaging techniques, including fluoroscopy, ultrasound, sonogram, and CT (computed tomography) scans. We perform an average of 7,600 CT scans and 3,600 sonograms each month, all while making your comfort and convenience our top priority. Our efficient, attentive staff and the availability of multiple imaging units will help your radiology visit go smoothly.

As a large teaching hospital, UAB Medicine is on the forefront of imaging equipment, and we frequently play a role in improving traditional and emerging imaging technologies, including some designed to reduce radiation exposure during tests. One example is the GE Healthcare CT 750 HD CT scanner, which is used at the UAB Radiology clinic to obtain high-definition images while reducing patients’ radiation exposure.

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