LDCT Low Dose Lung Screening CT Exam

Guilford Radiology offers a Low Dose Chest CT (LDCT) scan for smokers and former smokers.

An LDCT is a non-invasive, painless low dose CT scan which takes just a few minutes and can save lives.

Who Should Be Screened?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends external i    yearly lung cancer screening with LDCT for people who—   

  • Have a 20- 30 pack-year or more smoking history, and
  • Smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years, and
  • Are between 50 and 80 years old.

"Pack year" is a way to measure the amount a person has smoked over a long period of time. It is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years the person has smoked.

For example, "1 pack year" is equal to smoking 1 pack per day for 1 year, or 2 packs per day for half a year.  A "30 pack year" smoker smoked 1 pack per day for 30 years or  2 packs per day for 15 years.  A "20 pack year" smoker smoked 1 pack a year for 20 years or 2 packs per day for 10 years.

LDCT screening exams are 100% paid for by insurance including Medicare for eligible patients.  Coverage eligibility requirements:

  • 55-77 years old
  • 30 pack year smokers
  • Ex-smokers who quit in last 15 years
  • Insurance Coverage varies by plan, contact your insurance for coverage
  • Prior Authorization may be needed. Contact your medical provider to order your exam.
  • No copay, conisurance or deductible owed for eligible patients.

Patients are recommended for a LDCT  if they meet the following requirements:

  • 50-80 years old
  • 20 pack year smokers
  • Ex-smokers who quit in last 15 years


For patients not eligible for insurance coverage but a LDCT scan is  recommended, Guilford Radiology offers a special same day cash price

  • To qualify, a patient must be
    • 50-75 years old
    • 20 pack year smoker or
    • Ex smoker who quit in last 15 years
    • Eligible but non-insured or insurance will not cover the exam
  • $275 self-pay due at time of service
  • No insurance will be billed


Click here to view CDC screening guidelines

Click here for National Cancer Institute screening program

Click here to view the US Preventative Services Recommendation

Click here to view ACR expanded access link

CT Scan (CAT Scan)

Our New Toshiba Aquilion Prime CT Scanner has an 80 slice detector technology, the highest on the shoreline.  This technology provides unrivaled resolution and disease detection.  The Aquilion operates on the newest dose reduction software resulting in at least 25% less radiation, with many patient radiation exposure is decreased by 50%.

Our CT scanner can accommodate patients weighing up to 660lbs (the highest limit on the Shoreline).  The Aquilion is extremely fast, most scans can be done in seconds.  This is especially important when scanning areas that require breath holds and with patients who have difficulty holding still.

Our automatic bone removal for the CTAs results in easier visualization of blood vessels.  The metal suppression software, eliminating streak artifacts the only CT scanner on the Shoreline with this feature.

What is a CT Scan?

A CT Scan (also called “CAT”scan--, which stands for Computerized Axial Tomography) is a diagnostic test which uses a series of X-rays to create cross sectional images, or “slices”.  A computer uses these slices to display two- and three-dimensional images. CT images of intern al organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular x-ray exams.

CT images provide detailed cross-sectional images of the body that are reviewed by our radiologists. Other commonly performed CT exams include CT Angiography, Cardiac Calcium Scoring and Virtual Colonoscopy which are described in further detail in the services section. As an ACR accredited facility, our licensed, caring technologists ensure minimal radiation exposure with each exam.

Our CT Scanner and Technologists

Licensed and experienced CT Technologists will perform your exam using our state-of-the-art equipment that not only produces cross-sectional images but also produces 3-D reconstructions.  All CT scans are done with the latest technology on our Toshiba Aquilion Prime CT Scanner.  And since we are accredited by the American College of Radiology (A.C.R.) to perform CT Scans, you can be assured that our technologists will ensure minimal radiation exposure with each exam.  Please note that our scanning table has a weight limit of 660 pounds.

How to prepare for your CT Scan

There is no prep for this exam,  You will need to complete a CT lung screening patient questionnaire prior to your exam.  You can click above, print and complete this and bring it with you, or your technologist will complete this with you and review prior to your scan. Wear comfortable clothing around the area to be scanned. You may be asked to wear a gown. Also inform your technologist if you have any old images so they may be used for comparison.

What to Expect

Our technologist will review your CT lung screening patient questionnaire.  The CT is quiet and scan time is very short. You may be given specific breathing instructions.  You should plan for a 30 to 60 minute appointment.  You may return to normal activities following your exam. If you are a diabetic, check with your doctor for instructions before resuming your medication.

We may also offer you shields, which protect sensitive tissues (your eyes, breasts, and thyroid gland) from unnecessary radiation exposure.

We proudly participate in the American College of Radiology's Image Wisely campaign, which is an initiative to ensure safe imaging and low radiation dosage during CT scanning. Click here for an Image Wisely fact sheet, or here to visit the Image Wisely web site.   Guilford Radiology proudly maintains accreditation in pediatric CT imaging, and participates in the American College of Radiology's Image Gently program, which focuses on safe pediatric imaging.  Click here for more information.

Your Results

Your doctor(s) will receive a full detailed written report from our highly trained radiologists within one day.  We will provide you with a CD copy of your exam, for your personal records or to bring to your referring physician on your follow-up visit.  Our goal is to provide you with the highest level of customer service and image quality in a caring and supportive environment.

CT Scan - Quick Reference Guides

All our CT Scan quick reference guides can be found in our Patient Exam Information in our patient portal.

Click here if you are scheduled to undergo a CT Scan and wish to complete your CT Scan Screening Questionnaire prior to your visit.


If you have any questions or concerns about your procedure, feel free to call us at 203-453-5123 or ­contact us online.

Click on the links below for more information on the benefits of lung cancer screening.


Contact us

M-F 7:30AM to 5PM
Sat. 8AM to Noon