What are CT Machines and How Do They Work?
a blog by My Emergency Room Abilene
Computerized tomography (CT) or computed tomography is a type of computer-assisted imaging that allows radiologists to see inside the human body with clarity. It’s a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that uses computer software and cameras to take multiple X-ray images from different angles of the same subject, which are then reconstructed as 3D images.
In simpler terms, CT machines use special imaging techniques to capture cross sectional views of the human body in order to get detailed information about organs, tissues, bones, etc. Let’s find out how CT machines work and what they are used for:
How Does a CT Machine Work?
CT machines are also known as scanners or imagers. These machines use X-rays to create express 3D images of the inside of the human body. They work by rotating the patient around a central core while they pass through a narrow “tube” or tube-like structure. The tube contains an X-ray source and a detector that records the images.
The detector is connected to a computer that processes the images. The computer also controls timing, movement, and dosage of the X-rays. The X-rays are sent at different angles through the human body. When they pass through the body, they are absorbed by different tissues at different levels of intensity.
This creates different “signatures” or patterns that can be detected by the detector. The detector records the signatures and feeds them to the computer so it can create the 3D image.
CT Scan Procedure
A CT scan is a medical procedure in which a person is injected with a small amount of radiation, and then images of the person’s internal organs are created by computer. Examiners use these images to help diagnose, treat, and monitor a variety of medical conditions.
Before Each Scan - The patient is asked to undress from the waist down, put on a hospital gown, put on a lead apron for protection against radiation, and put on a pair of sandals or socks. The patient is then asked to lie on a bed that slides into the scanner.
During the Scan - The tube-like structure rotates around the patient. The patient’s chest and abdomen are pressed against a platform. The scanner produces a sound similar to the sound of rushing water.
After the Scan - The patient exits the machine and is asked to wait for the results.
What Is A CT Scan Used For?
CT imaging is extremely useful for diagnosis, follow-up, and treatment of various conditions in the body. Here are some of the conditions CT scans are used for: Diagnosis - CT imaging is often the first choice for diagnosis when a patient shows symptoms of a disease or has abnormal results from other tests.
The imaging helps doctors to find the location of the abnormal tissue and the extent of the damage. It also helps them determine the stage and grade of the disease.
Pre-Operative Planning: For patients who need surgery, CT scans can provide detailed images of the area to be operated on. The images are then uploaded to the computer to design a customized surgery that will treat the patient’s condition effectively.
Types of CT Scans
There are several types of CT scans including CT scans, CT coronary angiograms, and CT perfusion scans. CT Scan: CT scans are used to create 2D and 3D images of the human body. The images can be used to diagnose and monitor various diseases, cancers, and conditions.
CT Coronary Angiogram: This is a form of CT scan that uses X-rays to visualize blood flow in the coronary arteries. Doctors use this imaging technique to help diagnose coronary artery disease.
CT Perfusion Scan: CT perfusion scans are used to measure the blood flow in specific organs and regions of the body. This imaging technique can be used to help diagnose heart diseases, lung diseases, and cancers.
Computed tomography, or CT scans, are X-ray machines that use virtual imaging to create precise 3D models of the inside of the human body. CT scans use computer software and cameras to take multiple X-ray images from different angles of the same subject, which are then reconstructed as 3D images.
CT machines are also known as scanners or imagers. CT scans are extremely useful for diagnosis, follow-up, and treatment of various conditions in the body. While CT scans are helpful in many ways, they are also associated with health risks. They use significant amounts of radiation, and people who receive frequent CT scans are at a greater risk of developing cancer as a result of the radiation exposure.
There are safer, non-invasive imaging options available for some situations, and patients should think carefully about whether a CT scan is really necessary.