What is a CT Scan?
Computed tomography is commonly referred to as a CT scan. A CT scan is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce images of the inside of the body. It shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, organs and blood vessels.
CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays. In standard X-rays, a beam of energy is aimed at the body part being studied. A plate behind the body part captures the variations of the energy beam after it passes through skin, bone, muscle and other tissue. While much information can be obtained from a regular X-ray, a lot of detail about internal organs and other structures is not available.
In CT, the X-ray beam moves in a circle around the body. This allows many different views of the same organ or structure and provides much greater detail. The X-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the X-ray data and displays it in two-dimensional form on a monitor. Newer technology and computer software makes three-dimensional images possible.
CT scans may be performed to help diagnose tumors, investigate internal bleeding, or check for other internal injuries or damage. CT can also be used for a tissue or fluid biopsy.