CT Scan stands for Computerised Tomography Scan. A CT scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images, or slices, of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body.
Computed tomography (CT Scan) is a type of imaging. It uses special x-ray equipment to make cross-sectional pictures of your body.
Doctors use CT scans to look for:
- Broken bones
- Blood clots
- Signs of heart disease
- Internal bleeding
During a CT scan, you lie still on a table. The table slowly passes through the center of a large X-ray machine. The test is painless. During some tests you receive a contrast dye, which makes parts of your body show up better in the image.
How CT Scan works
Both CT and conventional x-rays take pictures of internal body structures. In a CT image, overlapping structures are eliminated, making the internal anatomy more apparent and in conventional x-rays, the structures overlap.
During CT imaging, an x-ray tube rotates around the patient so that multiple images are collected from many angles. These images are stored in a computer that analyzes them to create a new image with the overlying structures removed.
CT images allow radiologists and other physicians to identify internal structures and see their shape, size, density and texture. This detailed information can be used to determine if there is a medical problem as well as the extent and exact location of the problem, and other important details. The images can also show if no abnormality is present.
Modern CT scanners acquire this information in seconds – sometimes in fractions of a second – depending on the examination.
Benefits of CT Scan
Benefits of CT include more effective medical management by:
- Determining when surgeries are necessary
- Reducing the need for exploratory surgeries
- Improving cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Reducing the length of hospitalizations
- Guiding treatment of common conditions such as injury, cardiac disease and stroke
- Improving patient placement into appropriate areas of care, such as intensive care units
In an emergency room, patients can be scanned quickly so doctors can rapidly assess their condition. Emergency surgery might be necessary to stop internal bleeding. CT images show the surgeons exactly where to operate. Without this information, the success of surgery is greatly compromised. The risk of radiation exposure from CT is very small compared to the benefits of a well-planned surgery.