Chest CT scan: how is done ?

Chest CT scan in Paris

What is a chest CT scan?

A Chest CT-Scan, or computed tomography (CT) is an imaging method that uses X-rays to obtain precise cross-sectional images of the thorax and upper abdomen.

Why have a chest CT scan?

The effectiveness of this examination lies in obtaining a precise view of the structures inside the chest. The CT-Scan remains one of the best ways to examine soft tissues such as the heart and lungs. That said, it does help to identify whether or not an anomaly is present. If so, its size and location. What's more, this examination can detect even very small abnormalities (less than or equal to 3 millimeters). In the case of lung cancer, a thoracic CT scan can detect whether nearby lymph nodes are abnormally large.

But what are the most common reasons for undergoing this examination?

There are many reasons why a Chest CT-Scan, including :

  • After a chest injury
  • When a tumor or mass (cluster of cells) is suspected, including a solitary pulmonary nodule seen on a chest X-ray.
  • To determine the size, shape and position of the organs in the chest and upper abdomen.
  • To search bleeding or fluid accumulation in the lungs or in other areas.
  • To check for chest infection or inflammation
  • Search for blood clots in the lungs
  • Search for scars in the lungs
  • Significance of abnormal results

On the other hand, the thoracic CT scan can reveal numerous disorders of the heart, lungs, mediastinum or thoracic region, including :

  • A tear in the wall, an abnormal enlargement or bloating, or a narrowing of the main artery carrying blood away from the heart (aorta).
  • Other abnormal changes in the main blood vessels in the lungs or chest.
  • Accumulation of blood or fluid around the heart.
  • Lung cancer or cancer that has spread to the lungs from another part of the body.
  • Accumulation of fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion)
  • Damage and enlargement of the large airways of the lungs (bronchiectasis).
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • Lung disorders in which lung tissue becomes inflamed and damaged.
  • Pneumonia
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Lymphoma in the chest
  • Tumors, nodules or cysts in the chest


Chest CT scan appointment

Make an appointment for a thoracic CT scan at one of our centers:

Scanner Bachaumont 75002

Scanner Pôle Santé Bergère 75009

Scanner Blomet 75015

Is detecting all these anomalies risk-free?


What are the risks of a chest CT scan?

These CT scans and other X-rays are strictly monitored and controlled to ensure that they use as little radiation as possible. The scanner exposes you to a very small amount of radiation. The dose delivered is kept to a strict minimum and controlled by specialized health professionals.

In order to limit exposure to radiation and possible adverse effects associated with the use of a contrast medium, this examination is prescribed by your doctor for specific indications, at certain stages of diagnosis, treatment or follow-up.

Can a chest CT scan diagnose Covid 19?

The scanner is not a screening tool. It will be used in patients who have difficulty breathing and need to be hospitalized. In such cases, the scanner is a complementary examination to the PCR virological test. The advantage of CT scanning is that it provides an immediate result. The sensitivity of the scan is 90%, i.e. there will be only 10 % of false negatives, hence its irreversible effectiveness.

Thoracic CT in lung exploration

A Chest CT-Scan, or computed tomography can detect anything from the most benign anomaly to a tumor.

Sometimes, CT scans are supplemented or replaced by MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
These complications of smoking and their quantification (bronchial remodeling, emphysema and chronic inflammation of the respiratory alveoli) are perfectly analyzed on CT.

Screening for lung cancers (in patients at risk of cancer) is performed on CT with the greatest sensitivity.

In the assessment of local extension of bronchopulmonary cancer, CT scans analyze its size, topography and relationship to surrounding structures, so as to optimize treatment planning.

CT is also the examination of choice for exploring infiltrative pathologies of the lung: fibrosis, occupational inhalation diseases or environmental factors, drugs, systemic diseases.