A CT-scan or computed tomography scan produces cross-sectional images or slices of the parts of body using computer processed X-rays. These slices or images are used for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.
Computed tomography (CT) of the body uses sophisticated x-ray technology to help detect a variety of diseases and conditions. CT scanning is fast, painless, noninvasive and accurate. In emergency cases, it can reveal internal injuries and bleeding quickly enough to help save lives.
Computed tomography, more commonly known as a CT or CAT scan, is a diagnostic medical imaging test. Like traditional x-rays, it produces multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body.
The cross-sectional images generated during a CT scan can be reformatted in multiple planes. They can even generate three-dimensional images. These images can be viewed on a computer monitor, printed on film or by a 3D printer, or transferred to a CD or DVD.
CT images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater detail than traditional x-rays, particularly of soft tissues and blood vessels.
Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, appendicitis, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.
A radiology technologist will perform the CT scan. During the test, you’ll lie on a table inside a large, doughnut-shaped CT machine. As the table slowly moves through the scanner, the X-rays rotate around your body. It’s normal to hear a whirring or buzzing noise.
Movement can blur the image, so you’ll be asked to stay very still. You may need to hold your breath at times while the process of CT Scan.
Radiologists and radiation oncologists often use the CT Scan examination to:
- Quickly identify injuries to the lungs, heart and vessels, liver, spleen, kidneys, bowel or other internal organs in cases of trauma.
- Guide biopsies and other procedures such as abscess drainages and minimally invasive tumor treatments.
- Plan for and assess the results of surgery, such as organ transplants or gastric bypass.
- Stage, plan and properly administer radiation treatments for tumors as well as monitor response to chemotherapy.
- Measure bone mineral density for the detection of osteoporosis.
CT-Scan or X-Ray?
A regular X-ray sends images from a stationary machine through the body to make a “shadow” picture. In CT, the X-ray machine rotates around the body and makes pictures that are like “slices” through the body, providing much more information than a regular X-ray.
A CT-Scan is better than the X-Ray because it can reveal structures of all types of tissue and not just bone.