What is CT Scan?

Posted By: admin | Posted on: 10 October, 2016 11:03 am

What is a CT scan? It isdiagnostic technique which utilizes x-rays and a 3D computer technology to obtain images of structures such as your bones, blood vessels, and lymph nodes, or organs such as the brain, lungs or liver
CT Scanning Mahine

(Image Credits – shutterstock.com)


What is CT scan?

CT or CAT scan is a computerized tomography imaging, which is a non-invasive (does not require using the instrument to get into your body part) diagnostic technique. It utilizes x-rays and a 3D computer technology to obtain images of structures such as your bones, blood vessels, and lymph nodes, or organs such as the brain, lungs or liver as the scanner rotates with the x-ray beam around the body. This allows images to be obtained from different views of the same organ inside of your body. The images that are generated are more detailed, as compared to the conventional x-ray method; they are presented as black and white pictures, each showing a slightly different slice or cross-section of your internal organs.

This enables the Radiologist Specialist to have a clear picture as to whether a structure or an organ has a disease. CT scan is usually not used for disease screening purposes because of the x-ray radiation; it is commonly used to confirm tumors of the brain and the breasts. The scan may be performed without or with a water-soluble radiographic contrast dye, simply known as contrast, in order to obtain much clearer images.

Which body parts are commonly scanned by CT Scan?

  • Brain
  • Lung
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Colon
  • Ovaries
  • Cervix
  • Cervix
  • Pelvis
  • Prostate
  • Pancreas
  • Blood Vessels
  • Muscles
  • Joints
  • Bones

Why is it important to have a CT scan?

CT Scan Image Of Brain To Show Damage Caused on Brain
Closeup Of CT Scan Of Brain

(Image Credits – shutterstock.com)


  • Early disease detection:CT scan is one of the imaging techniques which are used to identify and determine the precise location of diseases like cancer or blockage of blood vessels in their very early stages.
  • Reliable and fast:CT scan test is reliable as it reveals the precise location, size, and spread of a disease. The detection is fast, it can take only 10 min to perform, unlike the other imaging procedures that take much longer (30                60 min) time. Thus doctors will order this test for quick identification of heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and liver injuries in any trauma situation such as motor accident, shooting or stabbing.
  • Broken bones:CT scan can be used to clearly detect broken bones from an accident that has caused physical injuries.
  • Cancer diagnosis:It is used to detect a variety of cancers, such as those of the liver, lung, kidneys pancreas, colon and ovaries.
  • Detection of vascular malformations:It is very useful in the determination of diseases of the blood vessels and tubes that connect organs of the body, such as the vessels that nourishes the heart  and abnormalities in the tubes that connect to the kidneys (kidney failures).
  • Major blood vessel rupture:If a blood vessel ruptures in an accident to cause internal bleeding, it will be revealed rapidly by a CT scan so the patient can be prepared for surgery.
  • Detection of spinal and head disorders: It can be used to diagnose spinal and head abnormalities.
  • Response to treatment:It can be used to determine how a patient responds to treatment of diseases such as cancer or blood vessel blockage as determined by routine examination of images.

Follow-up examination after disease treatment: CT scan can be used to check if a completely treated cancer has not returned .

What are the side effects of CT scan?

  • The contrast dye used in the test can make your kidneys worse, especially if you have kidney disease and it could result in temporary kidney failure.
  • If you are allergic to the contrast and did not take your allergy medication before the test, you may get a rash or you may experience a low blood pressure which will make you feel dizzy until you are treated.
  • The contrast gets washed out from the body through passing water (urine) so it is advisable to drink lots of water after the scan.
  • The x-ray radiation dosage used for CT is a bit higher than regular x-rays but it is still too low to cause any harm to adults.

What are the limitations of CT scan?

  • An obese or overweight individual, who is about 450 pounds or over might not fit into the CT scanner.
  • Children may need to be sedated to keep them calm for the scan. This happens rarely because CT scanning is very fast so it gets done before they become agitated.
  • The CT scanning technique needs to be adjusted for children: The x-ray radiation dosage has to be reduced and the scanner will be adjusted to their size for safety and accurate imaging, respectively.
  • If the patient is pregnant, it will be necessary to perform an alternative test, as even small amount of x-ray may harm the fetus.

CT scan is not as highly sensitive for certain organ disorders, so other tests will be needed for confirmation.

Computerized Tomography – CT Scan

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After your CT Scan?

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CT Scan Cost?

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