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What is a CT Scan?

A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside your body. CT scan images provide more-detailed information than plain X-rays do.

A CT scan has many uses, but it's particularly well-suited to quickly examine people who may have internal injuries from car accidents or other types of trauma. A CT scan can be used to visualize nearly all parts of the body and is used to diagnose disease or injury as well as to plan medical, surgical or radiation treatment.


Why it's done

Your doctor may recommend a CT scan to help:

Diagnose muscle and bone disorders, such as bone tumors and fractures

Pinpoint the location of a tumor, infection or blood clot

Guide procedures such as surgery, biopsy and radiation therapy

Detect and monitor diseases and conditions such as cancer, heart disease, lung nodules and liver masses

Monitor the effectiveness of certain treatments, such as cancer treatment

Detect internal injuries and internal bleeding