What is a CT Scan?

Computed Tomography (CT), sometimes called CAT scan, uses special x-ray equipment to obtain image data from different angles around the body, and then uses computer processing of the information to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs. The CT's ability to scan from head to toe makes it very versatile. Organs and areas of the body typically scanned with CT at PENRAD Imaging:

  • Brain / Head
  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Aorta and other major blood vessels
  • Facial bones, orbits, internal auditory cancals and sinuses
  • Chest, abdomen and pelvic areas
  • Spine, bones and joints

Further Information



You must inform the technologist if you are, or think you might be, pregnant.

What to Expect

CT scanning causes no pain. For different parts of the body your preparation will be different. You may be asked to swallow a liquid contrast material that allows the radiologist to better see the stomach, small bowel, and colon. Often times a contrast material is injected into a vein to better define the blood vessels and kidneys, and to accentuate the appearance between normal and abnormal tissue in organs such as the liver and spleen.

Patients with certain conditions may be required to obtain blood work prior to their CT exam. You should plan on taking your regular medications, although people living with diabetes may need to discuss insulin doses with their healthcare provider or a certified diabetes educator.

If prior tests have resulted in an allergic reaction to iodine contrast, please advise the technologist. In addition, let the technologist and/or radiologist know if you are, or suspect you might be, pregnant.

Information about your medical history e.g. asthma, kidney trouble, is important for the technologist to know.

As the exam begins, the table will move through the circular structure that looks like a donut, called the gantry, which contains the x-ray source. The actual scanning takes only a few minutes, during which you may hear some clicking and other noises. A technologist, stationed in a separate room but able to see you, is present throughout the process and is able to communicate with you via intercom.

Once the test is completed, you are free to leave and carry on with your normal activities. If you were given a contrast agent prior to the exam, you may be instructed to wait awhile for observation to ensure that you don't have a delayed reaction to the contrast. Someone will apply a bandage to the site of the intravenous injection, which you can remove after an hour or so. If the site becomes swollen, red or painful after 1-2 days, call your physician. Unless told otherwise, drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the contrast materials from your body. This occurs naturally and takes about a day. People living with diabetes may be given additional instructions regarding food intake and insulin injections following the exam.

The patient's CT images remain an electronic file that can be sent in a variety of viewing methods for the referring physician's preference.

One of our radiologists will examine and interpret the scan and create a report of his/her findings that will be sent to the referring physician. The referring physician will discuss the results with the patient.



CT Exams are available at these locations:

PENRAD @ Audubon Medical Campus
3050 N. Circle Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80909

PENRAD @ Broadmoor Area Centura Neighborhood Health Center
1263 Lake Plaza Drive, #100
Colorado Springs, CO 80906

PENRAD @ Sisters Grove Pavilion
6011 Woodmen Road, #10
Colorado Springs, CO 80923

PENRAD @ Tri-Lakes Health Pavilion
17230 Jackson Creek Parkway, #160
Monument, CO 80132

To request an appointment, click here or call (719) 785-9000 option 1



Oncology, Neurology, Cardiology

Nuclear Medicine

Bone Scans, MUGA


Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring. No referral required.


Ultrasounds or Sonograms using high frequency sound waves.


IVP, Barium Enema


Chest X-Ray - Dual Energy Subtraction


Full-field digital acquisition

CT Scan

CT 64 slice, Automatic Radiation Dose Reduction

Bone Density

DEXA, Hip & Femur BMD. Referrals may be required by some insurances.


High Field – Short Bore Magnets, Breast MRI with CAD, Cardiac MRI