OSF Holy Family Medical Center

CT Scan

CT scanning — sometimes called CAT scanning — is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. CT scans of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular x-ray exams.

CT Scanner | OSF Saint Anthony's Health Center Our state-of-the-art, low dose, GE Light speed VCT 64 slice scanner is among the best CT technology available today.

We want our patients to receive the highest quality CT image with the lowest radiation dose possible

How Do I Prepare for the CAT Scan?

  • You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your CT exam.  
  • Metal objects can affect the image, so avoid wearing them.
  • You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours before the exam.
  • The abdominal and pelvic CAT scan requires you to drink a contrast material before you arrive.
  • Certain exams require a kidney function test to be done in the lab prior to the CT.
  • Females of child bearing age will be required to have a pregnancy test before being exposed to radiation from the CT.

What to Expect

  • Reading a CT scan - OSF Holy Family Medical CenterYou may be asked to change into a gown.
  • During a CT scan, you lie on a table inside a large doughnut-shaped ring. An X-ray tube inside the machine rotates around your body and sends small doses of radiation through it at various angles.
  • The CT often requires the use of different contrast materials to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. The contrast material may be swallowed or injected through an IV directly into the blood stream or both depending on the type of examination. Before administering the contrast, the technologist will discuss your medical history with you to be sure that it is safe for you to have the contrast injected into the IV. Depending on your history, if you have experienced an allergy to iodine materials in the past, your doctor may prescribe a medication to alleviate the symptoms of allergic reaction.
  • CT scanning causes no pain, and today's faster scanners reduce the need to lie still for any length of time. You will be alone in the room during the scan; however, the technologist can see, hear and speak with you at all times.  A CT examination usually takes fifteen to forty-five minutes.


A radiologist, who is a physician experienced in interpreting CT and other radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report with his or her interpretation to your health care provider.

Your health care provider will then discuss the CT results with you.

Appointment Information

If you and your healthcare provider feel a CT would provide important information for your continued care, the provider will order the test either through the electronic medical record or with a paper order.

The Central Scheduling Department staff will call you to schedule your CT or you can call them at (309) 734-1446 if your health care provider instructs you to do so.

Hours of operation for CT are usually Monday through Friday. Other appointments may be available upon request, subject to technologist availability.

Please call the Diagnostic Imaging Department at (309) 734-1407 if you have any questions.