CT scan

CAT scan; Computed axial tomography scan; Computed tomography scan

A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Related tests include:Abdominal and pelvis CT scanCranial or head CT scanCervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral spine CT scanOrbit CT scanChest CT scan

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  • CT scan

    CT scan

    CT stands for computerized tomography. In this procedure, a thin X-ray beam is rotated around the area of the body to be visualized. Using very complicated mathematical processes called algorithms, the computer is able to generate a 3-D image of a section through the body. CT scans are very detailed and provide excellent information for the physician.

    CT scan

    illustration

  • CT scan of the brain

    CT scan of the brain

    A CT or CAT scan (computed tomography) is a much more sensitive imaging technique than x-ray, allowing high definition not only of the bony structures, but of the soft tissues. Clear images of organs such as the brain, muscles, joint structures, veins and arteries, as well as anomalies like tumors and hemorrhages may be obtained with or without the injection of contrasting dye.

    CT scan of the brain

    illustration

  • Pulmonary nodule, solitary - CT scan

    Pulmonary nodule, solitary - CT scan

    This CT scan shows a single lesion (pulmonary nodule) in the right lung. This nodule is seen as the light circle in the upper portion of the dark area on the left side of the picture. A normal lung would look completely black in a CT scan.

    Pulmonary nodule, solitary - CT scan

    illustration

  • Kidney cyst with gallstones - CT scan

    Kidney cyst with gallstones - CT scan

    A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing a fist-sized cyst of the left kidney and gallstones (the kidney cyst was found by chance; there were no symptoms).

    Kidney cyst with gallstones - CT scan

    illustration

  • Kidney and liver cysts - CT scan

    Kidney and liver cysts - CT scan

    This abdominal CT scan shows cysts in the liver and kidneys (polycystic disease). The liver is the large organ on the left side of the screen. The dark spots in the liver are cysts.

    Kidney and liver cysts - CT scan

    illustration

  • Liver and spleen cysts - CT scan

    Liver and spleen cysts - CT scan

    This abdominal CT scan shows multiple cysts in the liver and spleen. Note the dark circular cyst in the liver (left side of screen) and the large, irregular, circular cyst in the spleen (bottom, right side of screen).

    Liver and spleen cysts - CT scan

    illustration

  • Bronchial cancer - CT scan

    Bronchial cancer - CT scan

    This chest CT scan shows a cross-section of a person with bronchial cancer. The two dark areas are the lungs. The light areas within the lungs represent the cancer.

    Bronchial cancer - CT scan

    illustration

  • Cholecystitis, CT scan

    Cholecystitis, CT scan

    This is a CT scan of the upper abdomen showing cholecystitis (gall stones).

    Cholecystitis, CT scan

    illustration

  • Pancreatitis, chronic - CT scan

    Pancreatitis, chronic - CT scan

    CT scan of the upper abdomen showing multiple white-colored calcifications. These occur in chronic pancreatitis.

    Pancreatitis, chronic - CT scan

    illustration

  • Pancreatic cancer, CT scan

    Pancreatic cancer, CT scan

    A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing a tumor (pancreas carcinoma) in the head of the pancreas, seen here in the middle of the picture.

    Pancreatic cancer, CT scan

    illustration

    • CT scan

      CT scan

      CT stands for computerized tomography. In this procedure, a thin X-ray beam is rotated around the area of the body to be visualized. Using very complicated mathematical processes called algorithms, the computer is able to generate a 3-D image of a section through the body. CT scans are very detailed and provide excellent information for the physician.

      CT scan

      illustration

    • CT scan of the brain

      CT scan of the brain

      A CT or CAT scan (computed tomography) is a much more sensitive imaging technique than x-ray, allowing high definition not only of the bony structures, but of the soft tissues. Clear images of organs such as the brain, muscles, joint structures, veins and arteries, as well as anomalies like tumors and hemorrhages may be obtained with or without the injection of contrasting dye.

      CT scan of the brain

      illustration

    • Pulmonary nodule, solitary - CT scan

      Pulmonary nodule, solitary - CT scan

      This CT scan shows a single lesion (pulmonary nodule) in the right lung. This nodule is seen as the light circle in the upper portion of the dark area on the left side of the picture. A normal lung would look completely black in a CT scan.

      Pulmonary nodule, solitary - CT scan

      illustration

    • Kidney cyst with gallstones - CT scan

      Kidney cyst with gallstones - CT scan

      A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing a fist-sized cyst of the left kidney and gallstones (the kidney cyst was found by chance; there were no symptoms).

      Kidney cyst with gallstones - CT scan

      illustration

    • Kidney and liver cysts - CT scan

      Kidney and liver cysts - CT scan

      This abdominal CT scan shows cysts in the liver and kidneys (polycystic disease). The liver is the large organ on the left side of the screen. The dark spots in the liver are cysts.

      Kidney and liver cysts - CT scan

      illustration

    • Liver and spleen cysts - CT scan

      Liver and spleen cysts - CT scan

      This abdominal CT scan shows multiple cysts in the liver and spleen. Note the dark circular cyst in the liver (left side of screen) and the large, irregular, circular cyst in the spleen (bottom, right side of screen).

      Liver and spleen cysts - CT scan

      illustration

    • Bronchial cancer - CT scan

      Bronchial cancer - CT scan

      This chest CT scan shows a cross-section of a person with bronchial cancer. The two dark areas are the lungs. The light areas within the lungs represent the cancer.

      Bronchial cancer - CT scan

      illustration

    • Cholecystitis, CT scan

      Cholecystitis, CT scan

      This is a CT scan of the upper abdomen showing cholecystitis (gall stones).

      Cholecystitis, CT scan

      illustration

    • Pancreatitis, chronic - CT scan

      Pancreatitis, chronic - CT scan

      CT scan of the upper abdomen showing multiple white-colored calcifications. These occur in chronic pancreatitis.

      Pancreatitis, chronic - CT scan

      illustration

    • Pancreatic cancer, CT scan

      Pancreatic cancer, CT scan

      A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing a tumor (pancreas carcinoma) in the head of the pancreas, seen here in the middle of the picture.

      Pancreatic cancer, CT scan

      illustration


    Review Date: 7/3/2020

    Reviewed By: Jason Levy, MD, Northside Radiology Associates, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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