posterior cranial fossa tumors , the neurosurgery resident places a burr hole in the skull and injects contrast into the lateral ventricle and tilts the head to make the contrast move into the third ventricle , the aqueduct , and the fourth ventricle , while several X-ray films are taken ( ventriculogram ). Suffice it to say that these were highly invasive tests that were immensely disliked and feared by patients , not to mention the significant radiation hazard .
CT scan and subsequently MRI ( a story for another day ) have revolutionized radiology and the practice of medicine by providing wonderful non-invasive imaging techniques . A CT scan of the head can distinguish stroke from brain hemorrhage from an infarct within minutes . CT angiogram ( CTA ) has become a vital investigation in the diagnosis and management of stroke , heart attack , pulmonary embolism , aortic dissection and many other disorders . Coronary CTA has developed into a vital tool to detect coronary artery blockage in patients with acute chest pain . CTA has also revolutionized the management of stroke patients . When CTA is coupled with perfusion studies , one can precisely determine the size of infarction and the surrounding vulnerable area ( penumbra ) so that appropriate intervention can be instituted to prevent brain tissue loss . Even more exciting is the availability of mobile / portable CT scanners . There are many instances where a stat CT scan of the brain is needed ; during transportation to radiology there is the concern that catastrophic events like brain herniation may occur . Availability of a CT scan obviates the need for transportation of critically ill patients and has been a boon for patient care in the ICU and emergency department .
What Sir Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield , CBE , FRS initiated 50 years ago has grown into one of the most useful and versatile tools in the management of patients . With further improvements in technology and incorporation of artificial intelligence for rapid data analysis , the sky ’ s the limit for the future of CT scan .
Dr . Iyer practices at the Neurodiagnostic Center of Louisville and is a retired professor of neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine .
PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS AND SERVICES BY LISTING YOUR BUSINESS CARD
LAURA J . CARR Business Relationship Specialist office 502-221-7919 | cell 502-759-3332 laura . carr @ glms . org