CT, or computed tomography, combines special X-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body.
Patients lie on a table and are moved through a rotating ring or gantry. An X-ray tube rotates around the body (hidden by the gantry) and takes cross-sectional images. A computer takes those signals and assembles the images. The amount of radiation dispersed depends on the location of the scan as different tissues in the body absorb different amounts of radiation.
A CT scan can be used to:
- Diagnose muscle and bone disorders, such as bone tumors and fractures
- Pinpoint the location of a tumor, infection or blood clot
- Guide procedures such as surgery, biopsy and radiation therapy
- Detect and monitor diseases such as cancer or heart disease
- Detect internal injuries and internal bleeding