A computed tomography (CT) scan is a fast, painless, noninvasive diagnostic tool using a special type of X-ray to produce detailed pictures of structures inside of the body. A CT scan is also called a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.
A CT scanner directs a series of X-rays through the body that are analyzed by a computer to produce a detailed picture of a "slice" of an organ or area being studied. Each X-ray pulse lasts only a fraction of a second, and it takes only a few seconds for the machine to record each slice.
...is one of the best and fastest tools for studying the chest, abdomen and pelvis because it provides detailed, cross-sectional views of all types of tissue.
...is often the preferred method for diagnosing many different cancers
, including lung, liver and pancreatic cancer, since the image allows a physician to confirm the presence of a tumor and measure its size, precise location and the extent of the tumor's involvement with other nearby tissue.
... plays a significant role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases
that can lead to stroke
, kidney failure
or even death. CT is commonly used to assess for pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung vessels), as well as for abdominal aortic aneurysms.
... provides invaluable information in diagnosing and treating spinal problems and injuries to the hands, feet and other skeletal structures because it can clearly show even very small bones as well as surrounding tissues such as muscle and blood vessels.
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
Radiology and Imaging Department
Sentara Lake Ridge
Advanced Imaging Center
Appointments: (703) 523 - 1560