CT Scans

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

A computed tomography scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of structures inside of the body. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at CT scans in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Computed tomography, also known as CT scan, uses special X-ray equipment to obtain many images from different angles, and then join them together to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs called slices.

Regular X-rays are two-dimensional. The CT scan produces three-dimensional pictures of the body. This allows a radiologist to peer into the inside of the body without making an incision. The test is painless and non-invasive.

The CT scan is very helpful in examining structures like the brain and abdominal organs. Some CT scans are done with intravenous contrast to help radiographically light up the vascular structures. Rapid, multi-slice CT scanners have proven very useful in the early diagnosis of blood clots to the lung. In a trauma situation, the CT scan can help rapidly determine the type and extent of injury.

A CT examination usually takes from 15 minutes to half an hour. During the scan patients are not significantly enclosed, so most people with claustrophobia can easily tolerate the procedure.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.