CT Scan - 64-Slice Scanner

C.T. Scan

What Is a C.T. Scan?

A C.T.(Computerized Axial Tomography) scan can produce 3-D pictures of a cross section of a part of the human body. This test can detect some conditions that conventional X-rays cannot, and can often replace certain diagnostic techniques that cause the patient discomfort and inconvenience.

Diagnostic Procedures

C.T. scans are used for many diagnostic procedures:

Head Scans: Conventional X-rays can't show brain structures, but C.T. scans can. Head scans may detect or rule out:

  • Tumors — Tumors can grow inside the brain, the spinal cord, or elsewhere in the head. C.T. scans can detect these tumors with a high rate of accuracy.
  • Blood clots — If a blood vessel within the brain ruptures, a clot may form. The clot can interfere with blood flow and nerve communication.
  • Enlarged ventricles — Ventricles are openings in the brain through which cerebro-spinal fluid (the clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord) flows. Sometimes the fluid can't drain properly, and the ventricles enlarge.
  • Other disorders — C.T. scans can reveal abnormalities in nerves or muscles of the eye. They are also used to detect brain differences associated with some kinds of mental illness.

    Body Scans: C.T. scans can distinguish bone, tissue, fat, gas, and fluid. They can determine if a growth is solid or fluid-filled, and if an organ's size and shape are normal. C.T. scans can be especially important in diagnosing:

  • Enlarged Lymph Nodes — C.T. scans are sometimes used to detect changes in lymph nodes, located in various parts of the body. They may become enlarged due to infection or other conditions.
  • Back Problems — C.T. scans can reveal discs (soft-tissue cushions between vertebrae), and indicate if a disc has ruptured and is pressing on a nerve. Before C.T. scans became available, this disorder was difficult to diagnose.
  • Pancreatic Disease — formerly, this disease was almost impossible to diagnose without surgery. With a C.T. scan, a diagnosis can be made in less than an hour.
  • Lung Cancer — although most lung growths do show up on conventional X-rays, C.T. scans can show areas that conventional X-rays cannot. This can help provide more information about a growth.

    After the Exam

    The results will be evaluated and a radiologist will provide your health care professional with an interpretation of the results of the C.T. scan. Your health care provider can then make a diagnosis and explain what the findings mean.