What is a CT Scan (Computed Tomography)?
A CT scan (Computed Tomography) uses a series of X-rays to create image “slices” of the body. This type of study is also called a CAT scan (Computerized Axial Tomography). CT scans of organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater internal image clarity than conventional x-ray exams.
A CT diagnostic scan has the patient lying on a table with a doughnut-shaped scanning device at one end. This device contains an X-ray that takes images from different orientations and creates cross-sectional images of the body area surrounded by the device. The image slices can then be reformatted into two-dimensional and sometimes three-dimensional images that are “read” by an HDI Radiologic Physician and your doctor.
CT Scans are commonly used to detect:
- Broken bones
- Cancers and brain tumors
- Internal bleeding and brain injury
- Skull fractures and enlarged brain cavities
- Malformations of the skull
- Diseases and strokes
- Heart disease and more
CT exams and radiation safety
Although CT examinations improve health care and are an essential part of diagnosis and treatment planning, there are some radiation risks associated with this imaging procedure.
Women should always inform their physician and HDI Technologist prior to a test if they suspect they might be pregnant.
Inform your physician and technologist of any allergies you might have, especially to medications or iodine. Allergic reactions to any contrast materials that may be used are extremely rare, but in the instance of a reaction, HDI is well equipped to deal with them.
Children should have a CT exam only if it is essential for making a diagnosis. They should not have repeated CT exams unless absolutely necessary given their increased sensitivity to radiation and exams should always be administered using a lower radiation dose.
To learn more about X-ray radiation, visit radiologyinfo.org.