This sliced images.3D CT Image of Mandibular

This lesson will provide you with informative information regarding Computed Tomography (CT). This definition and history are discussed as well as the many uses of a CT machine.

Definition of Computed Tomography

Have you ever seen a Computed Tomography (CT) scan performed? You’ve probably seen it in a movie somewhere where a character received a ‘brain scan.

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‘ You might’ve even been the person receiving this type of medical exam! If this doesn’t sound familiar, though, don’t worry! Readers of this article will better understand what exactly Computed Tomography imaging is and what it is used for whether you have experienced this imaging procedure first hand or not.Computed Tomography is a medical imaging examination that is performed with a special machine. This machine delivers radiation, in the form of x-rays, through the body to create images. Computed Tomography differs from a regular x-ray exam in that it creates cross-sectional images of the body and displays them in the form of slices.

CT Image Slice of Lungs
CT Image Slice of Lungs

To better understand this concept, imagine that you have a sliced loaf of bread in front of you.

You can pull out one slice of bread and view it from all different angles. Computed Tomography incorporates this same concept within the images it creates. The CT allows radiologist and physicians to view slices or parts of the body from all different angles.

Newer Computed Tomography machines use a spiral technique that actually creates a 3-dimensional image in addition to the older sliced images.

3D CT Image of Mandibular (Bottom Jaw) Fracture
3D CT Image

History of Computed Tomography

Computed Tomography was introduced in England during the early 1970’s by Godfrey Hounsfield. This was the first radiology machine to provide anatomical data with such great detail. Until the CT machine was invented, there were many diseases and disorders that had gone undiagnosed. This invention not only provided doctors with better detail of medical injuries and conditions, but it also paved the way for future technology advances in radiology.

Uses of Computed Tomography

Computed Tomography has many uses. A CT machine can be used to diagnose fractures as well as disease. Computed Tomography can also be used to locate specific complications such as tumors or blood clots. Infections and internal injuries can be diagnosed with the use of a CT machine as well.

Since Computed Tomography works by moving a table through a big, circular shaped hole, the patient is able to lie instead of standing.

Computed Tomography Machine
Computed Tomography (CT) Machine

Doing so creates less chance of blurry images, which are usually caused by movement of the patient when standing. The radiation equipment housed within the round tube spins in a circle while the table moves the patient through the hole like opening, and this creates the sliced images.

Lesson Summary

To summarize, Computed Tomography (CT) is a medical imaging procedure that produces cross-sectional images of the anatomy with the use of radiation. This machine was invented in the early 1970’s by Godfrey Hounsfield and is still in use today.

The injured or sick person lies on a moving table that goes through a large tube housed with radiation equipment and sends radiation through the injured or diseased body part. This information is then collected and transferred to the computer in the form of radiological images.The many technological advances of this machine have made the diagnosis of injuries and disease much easier and have provided radiologist and physicians with great detail about the patient’s condition.Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is for your information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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