A CT (Computed Tomography) Scan is an X-ray procedure that creates cross-sectional images with the help of computer processing.
A patient lies inside a tunnel equipped with a scanner. The patient’s bed moves slowly through the tunnel and stops. The scanner circles the patient and X-rays are beamed and received at many points along the circumference of the tunnel.
Each time the bed moves, the scanner circles again. A computer analyses the information received by the X-rays and constructs an image of the slice of the body.
The CT images are more detailed than conventional X-ray images and can reveal bones as well as soft tissue and organs. A conventional X-ray uses a fixed tube that sends X rays only in one direction, which is then represented into a two-dimensional or flat sheet of film.
On the other hand, a CT scanner uses a modernised X-ray source that shoots neural beams of X-ray as it rotates around the patient. There are special digital X-ray detectors located directly opposite the X-ray source.
As the X-ray passes through the patient, they are picked up by the detectors and transmitted to a computer. Image slices can either be displayed individually in two-dimensional form or stuck together to generate a three-dimensional image that can reveal abnormal structure or help a physician plan or monitor treatment.
CT Scans and MRIs are relied to evaluate soft tissues, such as the brain, liver, and abdominal organs, as well as to visualise subtle abnormalities that may not be apparent on regular X-ray tests.
People often have CT scans to further evaluate an abnormality seen on another test, such as an X-ray or an ultrasound. They may also have a CT to check for specific symptoms, such as pain or dizziness. People with cancer may have a CT to evaluate the spread of disease.
Ahead or brain CT is used to evaluate the various structures of the brain to look for a mass, stroke, area of bleeding or blood vessel abnormality. It is also sometimes used to look at the skull.
The single biggest advantage of the CT Scan is the ability to assemble a 3D image of what’s inside the area imaged, including the relationship of the organs and other parts to each other.
In conventional X-rays, the structures overlap. For example, the ribs overlay the lung and heart. In an X-ray, structures of medical concern are often obscured by other organs or bones, making diagnosis difficult.
In a CT image, overlapping structures are eliminated, making the internal anatomy more apparent.
CT images allow radiologists and other physicians to identify internal structures and see their shape, size, density and texture.
This detailed information can be used to determine if there is a medical problem as well as the extent and exact location of the problem, and other important details.
A CT scan that shows no abnormality still provides useful data. The information aids the health care provider by focusing attention away from unnecessary medical concerns. This ensures there are no cases of misdiagnosis and wrong treatment.
The technology helps in determining when surgeries are necessary and also reduces the need for exploratory surgeries.
CT Scan specifically improves cancer diagnosis and treatment and reduces the length of hospitalisations. The technology guides treatment of common conditions, such as injury, cardiac disease and stroke.
In an emergency room, patients can be scanned quickly so doctors can rapidly assess their condition. Emergency surgery might be necessary to stop internal bleeding. CT images show the surgeons exactly where to operate. Without this information, the success of surgery is greatly compromised.