Computed tomography of the spine: preparation and procedure features

Computed tomography of the spine is more effective than a simple x-ray diagnostic study. With the help of computer tomography, you can study in detail the structure of the bone tissue of the spine, the state of the intervertebral discs, as well as see the pathology of the spinal cord. Fabrics of different densities perceive x-rays in different ways. By measuring these data, physicians make a conclusion about the presence or absence of signs of the disease. A special scale for X-ray measurements was invented by the British, Nobel laureate Godfrey Hounsfield.

Measurements on the Hounsfield scale are carried out in conventional units and include a fairly wide range: from -1024 to + 3071. The average values ​​of these measurements correspond to the density of water, the highest positive values ​​are the density of the soft and bony structures, negative numbers indicate the fat and air density. Thus, computed tomography allows you to determine the state of any tissue to the smallest structures.

A bit of history

To use the CT method began in 1972.But long before the application of CT, the Russian physiologist N.I.Pirogov made a number of discoveries, which he combined into a subject of topographic anatomy. The anatomical atlas created by him contained illustrations, which are in many respects similar to those that allow you to see a computer tomography. The researches of the scientist consisted in studying layered sections of human cadaver tissue, so-called.ice anatomy. It is truly surprising that, not having a computer at hand, but also an elementary camera, the scientist managed to achieve high accuracy of the images obtained.

Advantages of modern research are difficult to challenge. Tomography allows you to diagnose any pathology during life, to study its structural and physiological characteristics.

Spiral Tomography

Spiral computed tomography has been used for diagnosis since 1988.The source of radiation rotates around the body of the patient "in a spiral".The table on which the patient lies also performs longitudinal translational motion. Due to the combination of table movements and the rotation of the radiator, spiral computed tomography is performed in a short period of time, and the dose of irradiation of the patient is significantly reduced.

Results of spiral tomography
Spiral tomography of the cervical spine

Multilayered tomography

Multilayered computed tomography is an advanced technology. Several special detectors take radiation, and the beam of X-ray beams is volumetric rather than flat.

Multilayer computerized tomography has the following advantages:

  • High scanning speed;
  • Survey conducted in a short time;
  • High quality of spatial and contrast resolution;
  • Extension of the boundaries of the study zone;
  • Low dose of irradiation.

Computed tomography and spine diseases

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Computed tomography of the spine is performed for diagnosis:

  • Spine trauma;
  • Clarification of the causes of vertebral pain and diagnosis of herniated intervertebral discs;
  • Assessment of the spine before and after surgery, instrumental manipulation;
  • Diagnostics of neoplastic processes of the spinal column;
  • Diagnosis of osteoporosis.


Absolute contraindications for CT, except for pregnancy, does not exist. With caution should be carried out computed tomography to patients with severe renal pathologies and diabetes mellitus. Do not perform CT and patients with a high degree of obesity - a study of too full people is not effective.

Absolute contraindication is pregnancy

Before the study of

Preparation of the patient for CT is as follows:

  1. Before carrying out CT of the spine, all metal ornaments, as well as dentures, if any, should be removed.
  2. If a contrast agent is recommended during the study, the patient should be aware of the side effects of the drug: contrast can cause nausea, dizziness, a feeling of heat. But this is not a pathology.
  3. 4 - 5 hours before the introduction of contrast, food intake is prohibited.
  4. When CT with contrast is used, the patient should be excluded from allergy to preparations containing iodine.
  5. In the study, the patient is offered to wear a special gown and warn that during the examination he should lie still.

Question burning, money

Now about how much is the computer tomography of the spine.

Price for CT of any department of the spine in Moscow is about $ 100, in Minsk you can conduct the same study twice cheaper, i.e.for 50 dollars. In Kiev, the cost of CT of one department of the spine can be made for $ 40.But such prices assume CT without contrast. If the contrast medium is used, the cost of the examination is doubled. For comparison, the same service in Israel or Germany treat patients in the 850-1000 dollars.

Fashion is not an indication of

. Among the patients, the popularity of computer tomography of the spine is unusually high, but since it is associated with a rather large dose of X-rays, it should be performed strictly according to vital indications. The abundance of paid medical centers allows anyone who wants to undergo a fashionable examination, but remember that the reason for it is still the direction from the doctor.

CT scan