Computed tomographic (CT) colonography, also known as ‘virtual colonoscopy’, is an imaging technique of the colon involving multi-slice CT and computer software to generate high-resolution two-dimensional and three-dimensional images of the inner surface of the colon. These images are then interpreted by a radiologist to determine the presence of several types of abnormalities of the colon.
CT colonography has been investigated as a technique for colon cancer screening. Although it requires a full bowel cleansing similar to that required for conventional colonoscopy, the procedure requires no sedation or analgesia, and is faster to perform than conventional colonoscopy. However, since it is only a screening procedure, patients with positive findings require conventional colonoscopy for biopsy of the lesion.
MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-ray. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed and then released in a pattern formed by the type of tissue and by certain diseases.
A computer translates the pattern of radio waves given off by the tissues into a very detailed image of parts of the body. Not only does this produce cross–sectional slices of the body like a CT scanner, it can also produce slices that are parallel with the length of the body.
A very new type of scan that can actually see how body tissues and organs are working and not just what they look like. PET images show the chemical changes of an organ or tissue, unlike x-ray, CT or MRI, which show only body structure.
The PET Scanner is one of the most powerful and accurate diagnostic imaging machines available in SingHealth hospitals. PET uses special ‘radioactive tracers’, which helps to reveal more about the biochemical activity at the cellular level of a disease than other types of imaging techniques.
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