The computed tomography (CT) procedure was introduced in the early 1970s. Since then, it has advanced rapidly and become the imaging exam of choice. The CT scanner allows for thin cross-sectional views of body organs and tissues, using non-invasive radiographic techniques. Since the computerized image is sharp, focused, and three-dimensional, many tissues can be better distinguished via CT scans than on standard x-ray systems.
CT scans, also known as computerized axial tomography or CAT scans, are done through the use of a 360-degree x-ray beam and computerized production of images. They can utilize a number of imaged slices to reconstruct the tomographic plane of the patient (the part of the patient that was scanned). These images are then used for diagnostic purposes.
CT applications include detecting a wide range of abnormalities or diseases in any part of the body such as cancer, trauma, infection, inflammation, calcium scoring, pneumonia, tuberculosis, angiography, stroke, bone fracture, sinusitis, spinal column damage, and much more.
Sinus studies. The sensitivity of the CT scanner allows for pinpointing areas of chronic sinus infection, and is useful for planning prior to functional endoscopic sinus surgery. The CT scan can also show details of sinusitis; the extent and location of tiny fractures of the sinus and nasal bones; and evaluate trauma or disease of the sphenoid bone.
Chest scans. CT scans of the chest are useful in distinguishing tumors and in detailing accumulation of fluid in chest infections. Chest CT studies can also identify further problems in the heart and lungs.
Brain studies. CT brain scans can detect different types of tumors, strokes, or other lesions in the brain area such as hematomas (collections of blood that have escaped from the vessels). Congenital abnormalities in children, such as hydrocephalus, may also be confirmed with a CT Scanner.
Body scans. The CT body scan (from the chin to below the hips) can identify abnormal body structures and organs such as tumors, cysts, fractures, and other damages. Throughout the body, a CT scanner may be used to observe abdominal organs, such as the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, spleen, pancreas, and lymph nodes.
Aorta scans. CT scanners can focus on the thoracic or abdominal sections of the aorta to locate aneurysms and other possible aortic diseases. Aorta scans provide the ability to visualize and measure the thickness of the artery, which is very helpful in diagnosing aortic aneurysms, aortic clots, or aortic rupture.
Virtual endoscopy. Virtual endoscopy is a new technique that uses spiral CT for doctors to see inside organs and other structures without surgery or special instruments. (Spiral CT simply scans the body in a spiral path, thus creating images more quickly.) One type of virtual endoscopy, known as CT colonography or virtual colonoscopy, is now a validated, minimally-invasive technique used to screen for colorectal cancer.
Download our Free CT Scanner guide and get complete information on:
- CT Scanner Overview
- The CT Scan Procedure & Risks
- Types of CT Scanners
- Economic Considerations
- Tips for Purchasing a CT Scanner
- CT Site Planning
- CT Scan Radiation
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