What is a Low-Dose CT Scan: LDCT VS Standard CT

What is a low-dose CT scan, and how does it differ from the CT scan examination we know?

The standard CT scan has a relatively high radiation dose, which is needed to investigate and manage certain medical disorders. Understandably, patients who regularly undergo this procedure worry about their constant radiation exposure.

A low-dose CT scan, or LDCT scan, delivers a significantly lower dose of radiation, easing these worries. Modern scanners, such as ones used in Melbourne Radiology Clinic, offer ultra-low radiation dose scans without compromising the image quality. It is a painless procedure that only takes minutes to complete.

Who Needs a Low-Dose CT Scan Exam?

LDCT scans are for anyone who needs a CT scan as recommended by their doctors. However, certain medical cases strictly require this reduced dose of radiation, such as lung cancer detection. In fact, it is the only recommended screening test for lung cancer.

In the US, it is recommended that people between the ages of 55 – 80 years old who have a significant smoking history and are still smokers or have quit in the past 15 years should undergo an annual lung cancer screening using LDCT scans. According to the guidelines, what counts as a heavy smoking history is smoking at least one pack of cigarettes daily for at least 30 years.

How to Prepare for a Low Radiation-Dose CT Scan?

The procedure for an LDCT scan typically does not require any preparation. However, some CT scans require IV contrast injection and fasting four (4) hours before the exam, namely:
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Abdomen and Pelvis
  • All Angiograms

You can check out our full guide for CT scans for more information.

If you have any further queries about our CT scan services or appointment, contact us or call (03) 9667 1667.