Computed Tomography Scan

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Definition - What does Computed Tomography Scan mean?

A computed tomography scan (CT) is an imaging scan that is used for diagnostic testing. A computed tomography device can produce cross-sectional images of the body. Images of organs, bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels can be created using CT technology. A computed tomography scan is often referred to as a CT scan.

SureHire explains Computed Tomography Scan

Computed tomography employs X-ray technology to create cross-sectional images of the body. Each image section is called a slice. The image slice can be viewed immediately or stored for later evaluation. By combining multiple slices, a three-dimensional image of an organ or body segment can be created.

In some cases, the person being scan may be injected with or asked to ingest a contrast dye that allows for even more detailed imaging. A CT scan exposes the body to more radiation than a standard X-ray. For this reason, CT scans are used only when necessary.

The most sophisticated CT scanners can record images of the entire human body in less than 30 seconds. CT scans may be used to detect cancer or other tumors in the body, look for internal injuries or other signs of trauma, diagnose circulatory or skeletal disorders, detect diseases, or map out a surgical plan.

Formerly, computerized tomography was performed using an axial device. For this reason, the procedure is still sometimes referred to as a CAT(computerized axial tomography) scan. Modern CT scanners are more likely to employ a spiral or helical method of scanning. Newer devices may also employ next level electron beam (EBCT). These devices do not require the scanner to move to capture an image and are therefore much faster than previous scanning technology.

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