What is Computed Tomography Used For?

CT is used in various medical circumstances where highly specific information, such as the size, density and location of a tumour or malformation, is required. Typically, CT is used for the following situations:

  • Diagnosis
  • Surgery
  • Precursor to therapies (usually radiation therapy)

CT is commonly used in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Other common uses for CT include:

  • Detecting or confirming the existence of tumours
  • Determining the size and location of the tumor
  • Determining whether or not a tumour has spread
  • Guiding a biopsy (a small needle used to remove cell or tissue samples for microscopic analysis)
  • Planning the course of radiation treatment
  • Determining whether cancer is responding to treatment
  • Diagnosing disease
  • Discovering the location and extent of trauma
  • Measuring bone density to check for osteoporosis

CT scans can provide detailed information of just about every part of the body. Common areas examined by CT scan include:

  • Head
  • Brain
  • Abdomen
  • Heart
  • Chest
  • Ear
  • Sinuses
  • Lungs
  • Spine
  • Pelivs, Hips, Reproductive Systems, Bladder


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