Computed Tomography (CT) Scans

Computed Tomography (CT) is a non-invasive exam that helps to diagnose and treat a vast array of medical conditions.

At South Coast Radiology we have the latest generation of multi-slice CT scanners, which allow for state of the art 3D imaging.


    Computed Tomography (CT) is a non-invasive exam that helps to diagnose and treat a vast array of medical conditions. CT scanning combines X-rays and sophisticated technology to take detailed cross-sectional pictures of the body, similar to pages in a book.

    At South Coast Radiology we have the latest generation of multi-slice CT scanners, which allow for high-detail 3D imaging. CT scans of a patient’s organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide improved clarity and information and are used as part of a multi-disciplinary approach.

    CT scans are painless and straightforward. Examination time varies from 5 to 15 minutes depending on your study. Recent advancements now enable multi-slice CT scanners to obtain multiple cross-sectional slices during a single rotation, cutting down the time it takes to scan a patient.

    At South Coast Radiology, all of our radiographers have obtained the necessary qualifications and experience to ensure the best patient care and high-quality X-rays. All of our radiographers are accredited and licensed by Queensland Health and the Australian Institute of Radiography.


    Dual Energy Computed Tomography (DECT) is a type of medical imaging that uses a single acquisition of dual-energy beams for the characterisation and quantification of monosodium urate crystal deposits. This use of two different X-ray energy levels allows for more information to be collected about the area of the body being scanned.

    DECT can be used to provide more precise information about the composition of tissues, such as the differentiation between calcium and iodine, which can be useful in diagnosing conditions such as gout and kidney stones. It can also help to reduce the amount of radiation needed for imaging, making it safer for patients.

    This imaging technique is often used in combination with others, such as MRI and ultrasound, to provide a more complete picture of a patient’s condition. The images produced by DECT can help doctors make more accurate diagnoses and develop more effective treatment plans.


    Patients over the age of 70 or diabetic patients may be asked to undergo a blood test prior to a CT scan to measure kidney function. Our booking agents can arrange this if no recent results are available.

    Our staff will inform you of any preparation instructions required for your specific examination. Some tests require no preparation, however many types of CT require an injection of contrast media (or dye) to show detailed vessels and organs of the areas of interest. For these tests, you will be required to fast prior to your appointment. If you are required to do so, these instructions will be provided to you in detail at the time of booking.

    If you do require contrast our radiographer or radiologist will discuss this with you. The contrast is inserted via a cannula in your arm or hand.


    You may be asked to remove any metal that is in the scan area including jewellery, zippers and bras, and you will be asked to lie on the examination table. If you require an injection of contrast media, it will be administered at this point via the radiographer or a machine pump.

    When the contrast is administered, patients often get a metallic taste in their mouth and feel a hot flushing warm sensation throughout the body. This warm sensation can concentrate around the groin and buttock region giving the feeling of emptying your bladder. Do not be concerned as these sensations are not an allergic reaction and will pass within a couple of minutes.

    The radiographer or machine may give you breathing instructions, such as directing you to hold your breath briefly.


    Once the radiographer has reviewed the scans to ensure all appropriate images were captured, your cannula will be removed and you will be taken to a waiting bay for 10-15 minutes after your scan for staff to monitor you for signs of allergic reaction.

    The reconstructed images produced from your CT scan will then be interpreted by our radiologist, who will produce a comprehensive report. Previous imaging will be compared if available to the Radiologist. The results of your scan will be sent directly to your referring Doctor, and it is very important you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results.

    The doctor will review the results of the CT scan and discuss them with the patient, including any findings or recommendations for further testing or treatment. If the CT scan identified any urgent medical issues, the doctor will work to address those immediately.

    In some cases, the patient may need to have additional medical imaging tests at South Coast Radiology, or follow-up appointments. If these are to take place, it will be to monitor a condition or check on the effectiveness of their treatment.


    As CT uses X-rays to recreate the pictures, our staff are highly trained to use the lowest radiation dose possible for high-quality images, minimalising radiation exposure for patients, and decreasing risks involved. The radiographer will only scan the area/s of concern, avoiding unnecessary exposure. The benefits of a CT scan outweigh the potential risks involved.

    Pregnant patients should avoid having a CT scan, in order to avoid exposing the fetus to unnecessary radiation.

    There are very limited contraindications for CT, meaning almost anyone is eligible to have a CT scan. However, like anything that you introduce to the body, there is a risk of allergy involved.

    If you received contrast dye during the CT scan, you may be advised by our staff to drink plenty of fluids in order to flush the dye from your system. The contrast dye used in a CT scan is generally safe, but some patients may experience mild side effects such as nausea, and/or a metallic taste in the mouth. Although it is very rare, there are some people that may have an allergic reaction to the contrast dye. Patients should notify their doctor if they experience any of these symptoms after a CT scan.

    The results of your scan will be assessed by our radiographers and sent directly to your referring Doctor, and it is very important you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results.


    At South Coast Radiology, we offer CT scans at all of our clinics. To find the closest one to you, please click the button below!

Find out more about the CT scanning services offered by South Coast Radiology

Please note; not all services are listed below, and not all services are available at every site

CT Angiography

CT Angiography is a CT scan that examines the arteries around the body. It requires an injection of CT Contrast (please refer to ‘During a CT Scan’ for further information). Some of the reasons for having a CT angiography include but are not limited to:

  • Aneurysm
  • Blocked vessels
  • Follow up from other imaging as recommended by Radiologist for example – Ultrasound
  • Arterial Stenosis
  • Poor blood flow

Cardiac CT

CT Coronary Angiogram is designed to examine the very small arteries that supply blood to the tissue of the heart. CT Coronary Angiogram requires CT Contrast (please refer to ‘during a CT Scan’ for further information).

Due to the constant movement of the heart we need your HR to be as low and as steady as possible for us to be able to image it motion free. Due to this you will be asked to stop your intake of Caffeine 24hrs prior to your test. Coffee, tea and chocolate should be eliminated for 24 hours prior to your examination.

You will also be asked to arrive approximately 1 hour before your scan for our nursing staff to assess your heart rate and administer medication to slow it down if necessary.

Cardiac CT is only performed at SCR John FlynnPindaraDarling Downs Radiology and Mackay Radiology.

*Cardiac CT is bulk billed with a specialist referral.

Make an appointment online or call our dedicated bookings line