CT scan paranasal sinus is the full form of CT PNS scan. A Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the PNS is an imaging test of sinuses that uses X-Rays to bring out in-depth images of air-filled spaces within the bones of the face, surrounding the nasal cavity.
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What is a CT Scan PNS?
CT scan paranasal sinus is the full form of CT scan PNS. A Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the PNS is an imaging test of sinuses that uses X-Rays to bring out in-depth images of air-filled spaces within the bones of the face, surrounding the nasal cavity.
It usually includes the upper area of the throat, behind the nose. Some doctors refer to CT Scan PNS as a Sinus CT Scan.
Why is CT Scan PNS Done?
A doctor might ask for a CT PNS when Sinusitis or a Post Nasal Drip (PND) is suspected. Postnasal drip is the discharge of mucus from the sinuses and nose which can adversely affect one’s throat and cause pinprick-like pain.
This test is also performed to diagnose various complications in the human body. These may include:
- Birth defects in the sinuses
- Injury from trauma on the face over the sinuses
- Infection in the sinus bones
- Masses and tumor, including cancer of the nasal cavity and sinuses
- To evaluate if sinuses are filled with fluid or if the sinus membranes have thickened
- The reason for repeated blood loss from the nose, and many more.
Results from this test also help in directing the future course of treatment for the patient. Unlike plain X-Ray, a CT Scan PNS brings out excellent anatomical soft tissue and bony details.
What are the Types of CT Scan PNS?
Following are the categories, a CT Scan PNS imaging is usually segregated into:
- CT Scan PNS Coronal
- CT Scan PNS Axial
- CT Scan PNS Sagittal
- CT Scan PNS Axial & Coronal
- CT Scan PNS Coronal Contrast
- CT Scan PNS Axial Contrast
- CT Scan PNS Axial & Coronal with Contrast
- CT Scan PNS Axial Coronal Sagittal
- CT Scan PNS with Neck
You might have to get a CT Scan PNS Coronal done when the front and back views of your Para Nasal Sinuses are required by your doctor.
How should I prepare for the procedure?
For some CT Scan PNS examinations, the patient might need to be injected a contrast dye before the test, to help particular areas come out better. A contrast dye, in all probability, will be given to you by your technician in your hand or forearm. You will be asked to not eat or drink 6 hours before the examination.
When injected with contrast, you may experience a feeling like you have to urinate; however, this is essentially a contrast effect that fades out quickly.
If you are diabetic and take insulin, make sure you disclose every little detail about yourself to your doctor as he/she might have to adjust your dose before the examination.
In case you are allergic to a certain type of food or X-Ray, it is a good idea to inform your radiologist or technician in advance. Also, if you have any heart, asthma, kidney complications, or if you could be pregnant, please let the technologist know before your exam.
CT machines usually have a weight limit too. If you are on the heavier side of the scale, let your technician know as the excessively high weight can cause damage to the scanner.
How is the procedure performed?
During the CT Scan PNS procedure, the patient will be asked to lie down on a table which eventually slides into the center of the CT scanner. In the room, distinct light lines may be seen projected onto your body. These are used to make sure you are correctly positioned.
CT Scan PNS is usually performed without a contrast dye. However, if you are scheduled for the examination with a contrast dye, then you must not eat or drink anything 6 hours before the exam.
Once everything is in place, the X-Ray beams rotate around you to take separate images of the concerned body parts. With the introduction of advanced CT scanners, patients now can only hear slight buzzing and whirring during the entire procedure as the internal parts of the machine rotate around you to take images.
The images taken by the scanner are also known as slices. These can be either viewed on the monitor or printed on film, depending on what your doctor has asked for. Three-dimensional models of the body part can also be created by assembling all the slices.
As the machine takes images of your body part, it is advisable to lie still as movement can cause the images to blur. You may also be asked by your technician to hold your breath for a few seconds during the procedure.
A CT Scan PNS is a very comfortable procedure and usually lasts from 10-45 minutes.
Are there any risks involved?
The primary risk associated with a CT Scan is exposure to radiation. One must know, during this procedure, the patient is exposed to radiation more, than in an X-Ray. Having numerous X-Rays and CT Scans can increase your chances of cancer, over a period of time.
In case you are or could be pregnant, make sure to inform your doctor beforehand as radiation can unfavorably affect a developing fetus.
In the case of contrast scans, you must inform your doctor if you are allergic to contrast dye. Iodine is present in one of the most common dyes used for a CT Scan PNS examination. If allergic, you might experience nausea, vomiting, itching or sneezing, if given.
If you are diabetic or are facing kidney problems and have been prescribed a contrast scan, you may be asked to consume a lot of fluids after the examination to flush the iodine out of your body.
Hardly ever the dye may cause a life-threatening allergic reaction. It is called anaphylaxis. If anytime during the entire procedure you have difficulty in breathing, let your radiologist immediately know.