Additional Testing/ Imaging

I had a CT scan with contrast due to left sided throat and ear pain and what my ENT believed was a swollen lymph node. The results came back with bilateral calcification and the stylohoid bones elongated on each side (left 3.6 and right 4.0). General ENT referred me to a head and neck specialist. I saw the head and neck specialist who did not give me a "formal diagnosis" but did review my CT scan slides and the written results. He said the elongated bone could just be the "way I'm built' and when I asked if it was still growing he said from the pattern it looked like it was not (how could he tell this?). He prescribed 800 mg Ibprophin 3 times per day and said to come back in one month to see how I am doing. The Ibprophin doesn't really help the pain and about 3 days after I left his office I've had horrible neck pain and stiffness and throbbing pain just under the ear along my jawline and at the base of my skull.

When I told him I am concerned what structures the elongated bone is touching and whether it was in touch with my carotid artery (being the the vascular type) he said he had not heard of that type. He did say he had done the surgery before and when I asked how many he said less than five.

So my question is this...I have read here that the best way to see the structures is the 3D CT scan / reconstruction. I just had a CT scan with contrast done in April. Can my current Dr. request the April CT scan to be reconstructed into 3D or do I need to ask to have another CT scan done? What other tests or images should I request?

I saw the slides from my CT scan and I don't even know how the radiologist got an accurate measurement with those.

Thank you in advance.

There's been discussions about which scans are best before, so you could have a look through some past discussions. I'm in the UK, I had a CT venogram- where dye is injected into the blood vessels and they do the CT to see if they're affected- I think this is also called a CT with contrast. That should show if the blood vessels are compressed by the styloids or the calcified ligaments. I don't know about the 3D, that's been discussed before too, there's software they can use but not sure if it can be done on any CT scan. Probably your doctor's dept. would know. Eddieh has added a piece of research on his discussion, and there's also research you can look at here from the top menu bar about vascular ES- there does still seem to be ignorance with doctors about this.

Sorry that you're in so much pain...

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Hi Jules. Do you know if in the UK we can request our CT files? I am due a CT with contrast. Thanks!

I’m sorry, I don’t know, I didn’t think to do that with mine. Worth asking!

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When I received my CT results, there were four 3D images included. The radiology lab can create those for you, but it will likely take a doctor’s request. Most doctors can read the CT slices so 3D images aren’t necessary which is why the radiology labs don’t include them. I was thankful I could see my styloids & ligaments in 3D form, as you will be if you get your images in 3D. It makes understanding what’s going on in your neck, a lot easier.

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I shall have to let you know!

I cant imagine the UK doesn’t have standard Patient Rights to Obtain records. The CT scan is a medical record. The medical center or group you had the CT scan should have a form that you sign to get your records. Look on their website or give them a call.


I’ve had a read online; it seems a bit confusing as you do have a legal right to request access to your notes in the UK, but I’ve also read that although you can request to see copies of the CT, there’s no legal requirement for them to give you this :woman_shrugging: So best to ask your GP if you’re seeing them, or ask when you go for the CT.