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CT Scan

When Is A CT Scan Needed?

Last modified: 
21/03/2012 - 14:14

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

CT scanning has the unique ability to image a combination of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels. Among all available imaging techniques, it is one of the best tools for studying the lungs and abdomen. It is also invaluable in cancer diagnosis, and is the preferred method for diagnosing lung, liver, and pancreatic cancer.

Other applications include:

  • Diagnosis and treatment evaluation for heart disease
  • Diagnosis of acute stroke
  • Diagnosis and treatment evaluation for vascular diseases
  • Measurement of bone mineral density (to detect the bone disease osteoporosis)
  • Diagnosis and assessment of traumatic injuries

CT is also used to diagnose problems of the sinuses and inner ear because it can generate high-resolution images of the soft tissues and fine bones of these structures.

CT provides detailed information for nearly every part of the body, including:

  • The brain and its vessels, eyes, inner ear, and sinuses
  • The chest, heart, aorta, lungs
  • The neck, shoulders, and cervical spine
  • The pelvis and hips, male and female reproductive systems, bladder and gastrointestinal tract
  • The skeletal system
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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.