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COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY


1. In the two decades since computed tomography (CT) was introduced by Sir Godfrey Hounsfield it has become established as a powerful diagnostic tool and one that is relevant to many branches of surgery. Used appropriately, CT is capable of making a major impact on management decisions.

2. The essence of the CT technology is that the scanner rotates an X-ray tube around the patient in an arc and the emergent radiation beam is measured by photoelectric detectors. A computer is used to display the measurements of the patient, based on the density of tissues to X-rays. The image can be thought of as a cross-sectional radiograph but unlike radiography there is no superimposition of structures and the detector/computer system makes the technique very sensitive.

3. From the patient’s point of view CT examination is simple. In the majority of examinations all the patient has to do is lie on the couch while the machine makes the readings. Examination is usually carried out with the patient supine, although specialized indications may require specific positions. Exposures typically last a few seconds, and suspended respiration is required when the chest or abdomen are being examined; a diagnostic examination may not be possible if the patient has difficulty holding their breath, as respiratory movement may cause artifact. Other areas can be studied during quiet respiration.

4. The CT section is a cross-sectional radiograph in which tissues are displayed on a grey scale according to their attenuation value. Dense structures such as cortical bone appear light, whereas low density areas like air appear dark, as in the case with conventional radiographs. The attenuation of tissues on CT is displayed on a wider scale than can be shown effectively on one image, however. The display console therefore allows the image to be manipulated so that areas at different points on the attenuation scale can be examined. The basic image data can also be manipulated in other ways. Measurements from a small area can be reprocessed to give a high resolution image, this is useful for demonstrating small structures. Information may also be reformatted in different planes, on three-dimensional perspective views, to provide a more anatomical display.

5. The principal advantage of CT is that it provides a clear, accurate display of tissues without superimposition of structures. Disease processes may be detected at an earlier stage than is possible with other techniques, and lesions may be detected in areas which are difficult to assess with conventional imaging. The technique is not limited to specific organs: since all of the tissues in a body section are displayed it can be used to search for disease sites.

6. Although CT is effective in disease detection and localization, characterization of lesions is more difficult, since many have similar attenuation characteristics. The other main disadvantages of CT are high capital cost of the equipment and the fact that it employs ionizing radiation. CT is therefore used with care around radiosensitive structures such as the eye, or in children and young people, and only for over-riding indications in pregnant women.

7. Although the capital and running costs of CT are high, the technique is undoubtedly cost effective. It can be used to achieve an early diagnosis in patients who would otherwise need to undergo a large number of alternative investigations, and it can be performed on an outpatient basis, reducing costs for inpatient investigation. Moreover, the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of CT frequently replace exploratory laparotomy, or other major surgical procedures.

8. In the future the clinical role of CT will need to be reassessed as MRI develops. For the present, CT is the mainstay of cross-sectional imaging.

V. In paragraphs 2 and 3 find English equivalents of the following words and word combinations: cущность технологии, рентгеновская трубка, возникающий радиационный луч, плотность тканей, радиограф с поперечным сечением, лежать на кушетке, пациент в положении лежа, специальные указания, приостановленное дыхание, грудная клетка, брюшная полость.

VI. In paragraph 2 find the information about the essence of examination.

VII. Look through paragraph 3 and say how the procedure is performed.

VIII. Read paragraphs 5 and 6 and answer the questions.

What is the main advantage of CT?
When can diseases and lesions be detected?
Why is the technique not limited to specific organs?
Are there any disadvantages of CT?
CT should be used with care around radiosensitive structures, shouldn’t it?
Can CT be applied to pregnant women and little children?

IX. Read paragraph 7 and explain why the technology of CT is undoubtedly cost effective.




X. Say whether the following statements are true or false.

CT is a powerful diagnostic tool and is relevant to many branches of surgery.
There is superimposition of structures in the obtained structures.
CT examination is simple.
All body areas can be studied during quiet respiration.
A high resolution image is useful for demonstrating small structures.
The technique is limited to specific organs.
CT often replaces many other surgical procedures.

XI. Complete the following sentences choosing the most suitable variant.

The essence of the CT technology is that…
    a detectors record the emission of energy
    b strong magnetic field is utilized
    c the scanner rotates an X-ray tube around the patient
In the majority of examinations the patient should…
    a lie on the couch supine
    b stand straight
    c breath deeply
The principal advantage of CT is that…
    a tissues are displayed on a grey scale
    b it provides a clear accurate display without superimposition of structures
    c exposures last a few seconds
Lesions and disease processes can be detected…
    a at an earlier stage
    b when the disease cannot be cured
    c when exploratory laparotomy is needed
The technique is cost effective because…
    a its capital and running cost are high
    b it is used to demonstrate small structures
    c it allows to achieve an early diagnosis

XII. Speak about CT as a powerful diagnostic tool.

Part B

I. Define the meaning of the “x” word.

administer: administration= назначать: x
detect: detection= обнаруживать: x
order: disorder= порядок: x
alter: alteration= изменять: x
local: localize= местный:x
cancer: cancerous= рак:x
short-lived: long-lived= кратковременный: x
seize: seizure= хватать: x

II. Find in the list the following parts of speech: a) nouns, b) adjectives, c) adverbs, d) verbs.



Emission, physiologic, emit, evaluate, responsive, surgery, scanner, multiple, permit, attach, commonly, appropriate, brightness, accumulate, restriction, plenty, exposure, affect, enhance.

III. Complete the sentences with the following words: are not responsive, are displayed, exposure, detection, radioactive, radiologist, colors, brightness, alterations.

PET images are based on the … of radiation from the emission of positrons.
PET scans detect diseases and disorders that … to medical therapy.
Images … on the monitor of a computer.
Cyclotron is a machine producing a … substance.
Different levels of tissue or organ function are represented by different … or degrees of … .
A specialist who has got a specialized training in nuclear medicine is called a … .
PET helps physicians to detect … in biochemical processes.
During the procedure of PET imaging patient’s radiation … is low.

IV. Read the text and entitle it.

Positron emission tomography, also called PET imaging or PET scan, is a diagnostic examination that involves the acquisition of physiologic images based on the detection of radiation from the emission of positrons. Positrons are tiny particles emitted from a radioactive substance administered to the patient. The subsequent images of the human body developed with this technique are used to evaluate a variety of diseases.

PET scans are used most often to detect cancer and to examine the effects of cancer therapy, heart diseases, brain tumors or seizure disorders that are not responsive to medical therapy and are therefore candidates for surgery.

The PET scanner has a hole in the middle and looks like a large doughnut. Within this machine are multiple rings of detectors that record the emission of energy from the radioactive substance in your body and permit an image of your body to be obtained. While lying on a cushioned examination table, you will be moved into the hole of the machine. The images are displayed on the monitor of a nearby computer, which is similar in appearance to the personal computer you may have at home.

Before the examination begins, a radioactive substance is produced in the machine called a cyclotron and attached, or tagged, to a natural body compound, most commonly glucose, but sometimes water or ammonia. Once this substance is administered to the patient, the radioactivity localizes in appropriate areas of the body and is detected by the PET scanner. Different colors or degrees of brightness on a PET image represent different levels of tissue or organ function. For example, because healthy tissue uses glucose for energy, it accumulates some of the tagged glucose, which will show up on the PET images. However, cancerous tissue, which uses more glucose than normal tissue, will accumulate more of a substance and appear brighter than normal tissue on the PET images.

The procedure may take 30 to 45 minutes. It must be done by a radiologist who has specialized in nuclear medicine and has substantial experience with PET. A radiologist who has specialized training in PET will interpret the images and forward a report to your referring physician. Usually, there are no restrictions on daily routine after the test, although you should drink plenty of fluids to flush the radioactive substance from your body. Because PET allows study of body function, it can help physicians detect alterations in biochemical processes that suggest disease before changes in anatomy are apparent with other imaging tests, such as CT or MRI. Because radioactivity is short-lived, your radiation exposure is low. The substance amount is so small that it does not affect the normal processes of the body.

Finally, the value of a PET scan is enhanced when it is a part of a larger diagnostic work-up. This often entails comparison of the PET scan with other imaging studies, such as CT or MRI.

V. Read the text and say which paragraph contains the information about some common uses of the procedure.

VI. Say whether the following statements are true or false.

PET imaging is based on the detection of radiation from emission of electrons.
PET scans are used to evaluate only heart disorders.
During the examination a patient is moved into the hole of the machine.
Similar colors on a PET image represent different levels of tissue.
The procedure must be done by a physician.
PET scan is usually a part of a larger diagnostic work.

VII. Match parts of the sentences.

Positrons are tiny particles a to the patient.
Within the PET scanner there are b radioactivity is short-lived.
Radioactive substance is administered c emitted from a radioactive substance.
There are no restrictions on a daily routine d after the test.
Your radiation exposure is low, because e multiple rings of detectors.

VIII. Give a short summary of text B.

Part C

I. Read the text and define its main idea.

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