Computed Tomography (CT), commonly referred to as a Cat Scan or CT, uses x-rays and a computer to generate cross-sectional images of a region of interest. CT is often used for imaging of the chest, abdomen, nose, bones and joints.
Examples of studies that CT is very useful in assessing include:
- Changes in lungs – Eg. Tumor spread (metastasis), pulmonary fibrosis
- Masses or tumors within the chest cavity
- Nasal cavity disease – Eg. Tumors vs. Inflammation (rhinitis)
- Development orthopedic disease – Eg. Elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis dessicans (OCD)
- Spinal or pelvic trauma – Eg. Following Hit-By-Car Accidents
- Vascular Anomalies – Eg. Portosystemic shunts
CT is also employed to guide Biospy or Needle aspirates of difficult to reach lesions.
Use of CT in Neurology
CT can be used to visualize the brain and spinal cord and tends to be less expensive than MRI, but it is provides much less detail than MRI, and in some cases does not demonstrate abnormalities that can be detected with MRI. As a result, MRI is our primary imaging tool to visualize the nervous system.
In neurology, our CT machine is used primarily for assessment of bone abnormalities (fractures, bone tumors) and CT-guided brain biopsies.