Emergency Clinic




Work Cover

Infusion Clinic

Fracture Clinic

Get Directions
Call us
Book Now

Chest CT & CTPA

High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) and Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography (CTPA) are two distinct, yet critical, imaging techniques used in the medical field. Each serves unique purposes, and is essential for diagnosing and managing various health conditions.

The Ultimate Guide to CT Chest & CTPA

High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT)

  • HRCT is like a super-powered X-ray machine.
  • It takes lots of detailed pictures of your lungs.
  • Doctors use these pictures to see if something’s wrong with your lungs.
  • HRCT can find tiny problems that regular X-rays might miss.
  • It helps doctors diagnose diseases that affect your lungs.

Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography (CTPA)

  • CTPA is a special test that doctors use to look at the blood vessels in your lungs.
  • They use this test to see if a blood clot is blocking any of these vessels. This is called a pulmonary embolism.
  • During the test, doctors inject a special dye into your blood. This dye helps the blood vessels show up clearly on the pictures.
  • CTPA is really good at finding pulmonary embolisms. That’s why doctors often use it when they think a patient might have one.

For what conditions these imaging are ordered

High-Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT)

Doctors might use HRCT when they think someone might have:

  • Interstitial Lung Disease: This means something’s wrong with the spaces around the tiny air sacs in the lungs. The HRCT might show a pattern that looks like the lungs are scarred or thickened.
  • Bronchiectasis: This is when the airways in your lungs get bigger and flabby. The HRCT might show these bigger airways, or it might show thick walls around these airways.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): This is a condition where it’s hard to breathe out properly. The HRCT might show the lungs are over-inflated or that the walls of the tiny airways are thickened.
  • Pulmonary Infections: These are infections in your lungs like pneumonia. The HRCT might show spots or areas where your lung tissue is denser than usual

Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography (CTPA)

Doctors might use CTPA when they think someone might have:

  • Pulmonary Embolism (PE): This is when a blood clot blocks one of the blood vessels in your lungs. The CTPA can show the clot itself or areas of the lungs that aren’t getting blood because of the clot.
  • Lung Cancer: This is when cells in your lungs start to grow uncontrollably. The CTPA might show a lump in your lung, or it might show if the cancer has spread to the blood vessels.
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH): This is when the blood pressure in your lungs is too high. The CTPA might show the blood vessels in your lungs are larger than they should be.

When can these imaging be dangerous

  • Allergy to Contrast Material: Some people might be allergic to the special dye that’s used during the scan. This could make them itch, get a rash, or feel sick.
  • Kidney Problems: The special dye used in the scan can sometimes be hard on your kidneys. If your kidneys are already not working well, the dye could make it worse.
  • Pregnancy: The scan uses a type of energy called radiation, which can be harmful to an unborn baby. So if you’re pregnant, your doctor might suggest a different test.
  • Severe Asthma or Breathing Problems: If it’s hard for you to lie flat or hold your breath, you might have trouble with the CT scan. Your doctor might suggest a different test if this is a problem.

Remember, CT scans are generally very safe, and they’re very good at finding problems in your lungs. Your doctor will only suggest a different test if they think the CT scan could be harmful to you.

Future of CT Chest & CTPA

Technological Advancements

Medical imaging technology is always advancing. Today’s CT scanners offer more detail and speed than ever before. Additionally, there are ongoing efforts to reduce radiation exposure while still providing high-quality images. It’s like upgrading from a regular TV to a high-definition one.

AI and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are making their mark in medical imaging, including CT Chest & CTPA scans. These technologies can help identify patterns and abnormalities more quickly and accurately, leading to earlier detection and treatment.

Understanding the Jargon

Common Terms and Their Meanings

When you dive into the world of CT Chest & CTPA, you might come across medical jargon that seems confusing. Here are a few terms you might encounter:

  • Radiologist: A medical doctor specialising in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using medical imaging techniques such as CT scans.
  • Contrast dye: A substance injected into your body that makes certain areas appear better on the X-ray images.
  • Pulmonary embolism: A blood clot that forms in a blood vessel in the lungs.

A Final Word

CT Chest & CTPA scans are powerful tools in modern medicine. Whether it’s diagnosing a condition, monitoring treatment, or ruling out diseases, these procedures are essential in helping doctors provide the best care possible. So the next time you hear these terms, you’ll know the ropes and can navigate your health journey with more confidence.

Next steps

At Urgent care Brisbane we have Radiology open 10am to 8pm 7 days and week including weekends and public holidays ,You can walk-in for urgent X-ray or CT Scan needed for your condition.

Have further questions?
Send us a message.
See Us Now
Find us easily in Brisbane's inner west
Fill out a patient registration form before you arrive
Can't See Us Now?
Book an appointment that fits your busy schedule.
Can't make it in person? Book a teleconsultation.