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Computed Tomography (CT Scan)
A CT scan helps diagnose a wide range of conditions, such as:
- Broken bones
- Blood clots
- Signs of heart disease
- Internal bleeding
Computed tomography (CT) is also known as a CAT scan. This test takes pictures of the inside of your body and joins them together to show a cross-section of tissues and organs.
It takes special x-ray equipment to get images from many different angles. It provides more detailed information than regular x-rays can. It can show bone, soft tissue, and blood vessel injuries, all in the same image.
About the Procedure
The CT scanner is a large, square machine with a hole in the center. It looks something like a doughnut. When you have a CAT scan, you lie still on a table and slide into and out from the center of the hole. An x-ray tube on a rotating frame moves around your body. The process is painless, though remaining still in the machine may cause discomfort. Some people feel claustrophobic
CT uses radiation. Some CT scans use a contrast dye material that highlights specific areas of the body. This dye makes abnormalities easier to see. It may be given in an IV, by mouth, or through a feeding tube. During injection of a contrast dye, you may feel a warm, flushed sensation.
Images from a CT scan are examined by a radiologist (a doctor trained to read radiographic images or x-rays).