Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
A computed tomography (CT) scan combines X-ray and computer technology to produce detailed cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues in your body, making it a highly effective diagnostic tool.
CT Scan Services
The Northwestern Memorial Hospital CT Section offers:
The length of the exam will depend on the area to be scanned and the specific information your doctors need.
CT Scan Service Locations
You may receive a CT scan at the following locations:
Prentice Women's Hospital Imaging Services
Northwestern Memorial Hospital Imaging Center
Please tell your doctor or the CT staff if you:
As with any treatment or test, discuss the risks and benefits of a CT scan with your physician.
For more information on CT Scans or Radiation Safety, visit or call one of Northwestern Memorial's Health Learning Centers. Health information professionals are available to help you find the information you need and provide you with personalized support at no charge. Contact the Health Learning Centers by calling 312-926-LINK (5465) or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CT scans use X-rays to produce images used for diagnosis and treatment.
At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, we are committed to safe and effective X-ray exposure using the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) philosophy.
This means that your scan will be done with the least amount of radiation possible using sophisticated advanced dose monitoring technology without reducing the diagnostic quality of the exam.
All of our scanners have been pre-programmed with the instructions specific for the body part being scanned, which also assists in radiation dose reduction.
Learn more about Medical Radiation Safety
American College of Radiology (ACR) Accreditation
Our Ultrasound, MRI, Nuclear Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine and CT departments are proud to be an accredited facility of the American College of Radiology (ACR). Earning this designation means:
Patient Information & Forms
What to Expect
What to Expect During Your Outpatient CT Visit (pdf)
Before the Exam
Please arrive at the scheduled time given to you in order to complete any outstanding documentation (insurance, forms, etc). After completing your registration, you will be brought to a changing area and instructed to remove any clothing or jewelry that is in the area of interest, and may need to change into a hospital gown. If your exam requires Oral or Intravenous Contrast Material, you will be escorted to a secondary waiting room where you will be given the appropriate contrast, or called by the nurse to place the IV line.
During the Exam
Once the department is ready for your scan, they will come to the appropriate waiting area and call your name and escort you to the scan room. The Technologist will help you into position and will provide any instructions for the exam.
After the Exam
The staff will help direct you back to the changing area and give any additional instructions as necessary. The results from the Radiologist of your exam are typically distributed to your Ordering Provider within 48 hours of the exam.