How Does a CT Scan Work?

A CT scan is an x-ray procedure that creates
cross-sectional images with the help of computer processing. CT images are more detailed than conventional
x-ray images, and can reveal bones as well as soft tissue and organs. A conventional x-ray uses a fixed tube that
sends x-rays in only one direction, while a CT scanner uses a motorized x-ray source
that shoots narrow beams of x-rays as it rotates around the patient. There are special digital x-ray detectors
located directly opposite the x-ray source. As the x-rays pass through the patient, they
are picked up by the detectors and transmitted to a computer. Image slices can either be displayed individually
in 2 dimensional form, or stacked together to generate a 3 dimensional image that can
reveal abnormal structures, or help the physician plan and monitor treatments.


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