Medical Technology

How an Ct Scan Works



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Computed tomography scans essentially use x-ray technology to produce detailed images depicting the internal structures of the body. More commonly known as CT scans, the resulting images of these tests can assist physicians in providing more accurate diagnoses by allowing them to catch a glimpse inside of the body without having to make any incisions.

Iodine dye is often inserted into the patient's body through an IV directly into the vein. Alternatively, some patients are given the option of drinking a solution which includes the dye that allows certain organs or areas of the body to be more easily visible on the resulting images.

For most CT scan procedures, the patient will lie flat on a table and move into a large machine called a CT scanner. The scanner emits x-ray pulses through the body as the table moves forward, deep into the machine, and then backwards as it exits.

Each pulse is over in less than a second, but pictures are consistently taken of thin slices of the body and are then uploaded to the machine's internal computer. Later, this computer will produce a comprehensive image of an organ or a section of the body by placing together these hundreds of images.

CT scans are yet another example of the collaborative work of science, medicine, and technology, to provide more comprehensive data for physicians to review, thereby allowing them to make more accurate diagnoses and analyses on a given patient's condition.

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