A CT scan) is a type of imaging
test. It uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows
details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard
X-rays. In an emergency, it can show internal injuries and bleeding quickly.
In standard X-rays, a beam of
energy is aimed at the body part being studied. A plate behind the body part captures
the variations of the energy beam after it passes through skin, bone, muscle, and other
tissue. While much information can come from a standard X-ray, a CT scan captures much
more detail about internal organs and other structures.
In a CT scan, an X-ray beam moves
in a circle around the body. This provides many different views of the same organ or
structure. The X-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the X-ray data
and displays it in a 2-dimensional (2D) form on a monitor.
CT scans may be done with or
without "contrast." Contrast is a substance taken by mouth or injected into an
intravenous (IV) line. It causes the particular organ or tissue under study to show up
more clearly on the scan.
CT scans of the brain can give more detailed information about brain tissue and brain structures than standard X-rays of the head. CT scans can give healthcare providers more information related to injuries or diseases of the brain.