What is a CT?

CT is short for computed tomography.  It is a very advanced machine that uses X-rays to see a multi-planer (sort of three dimensional) view of your body.

CT can be used to look at your arteries (Called CTA or CT Angiogram) soft tissue, or bone.

Why CT?

There are a variety of reasons to have CT scan done.  Some of the common orders are for renal stones, trauma or fractures, abdomen pain, and an immense number of other things.

CTs can also be used to look at the arteries within your body (i.e. renal artery – the artery that feeds into your kidney). We can also do coronary CTAs which is a non-invasive way of evaluating your coronary arteries.

Your doctor will be able to guide you in the right direction and order the appropriate exam.

What are some common uses of the procedures?

Because it provides detailed, cross-sectional views of all types of tissue, CT is one of the best tools for studying the chest and abdomen. It is often the preferred method for diagnosing different cancers, including lung, liver and pancreatic cancer, since the image allows a physician to confirm the presence of a tumor and to measure its size, precise location, and the extent of the tumor’s involvement with other nearby tissue.

CT examinations are often used to plan and properly administer radiation treatments for tumors, and to guide biopsies and other minimally invasive procedures. CT can clearly show even very small bones, as well as surrounding tissues such as muscle and blood vessels. This makes it invaluable for the diagnosis and treatment of problems and injuries to the hands, feet and other skeletal structures. CT images can also be used to measure bone mineral density for the detection of osteoporosis, a condition of reduced bone mass.

In cases of trauma, CT can quickly help the doctor identify injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys or other internal organs. Many dedicated shock-trauma centers have a CT scanner in the trauma department.

CT plays a significant role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases that can lead to stroke, gangrene or kidney failure.