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CT Scan or Computed Tomography scan is a diagnostic imaging test which is used to create fully detailed images of bones, organs, blood vessels and soft tissues. CT Scan images can be further reformatted in several planes and can also be converted into 3D images. Since CT Scan images help to detect and confirm major problems in organs and bones, CT scans are the best way to detect several types of cancers. It is an accurate, fast and non invasive procedure which helps to reveal various internal injuries as well as bleeding, thus aiding in saving lives.

The term computed tomography (CT) is mostly referred to as to X-ray CT, because it is the most popularly known form. But there are various others form of CT scans as well and some of them include Positron emission tomography (PET) as well as Single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT). In the last two decades, the use of CT Scan technology or test has increased rapidly. Millions of CT scans are performed every year in most developed countries to detect diseases and illnesses.

There are various kinds of CT scans and some include the following: CT Scan CERVICO THORACIC SPINE, CT Scan KUB WITH CONTRAST, CT Scan BRAIN, CT Scan BREAST etc.


Preparation for CT scan diagnostic test may differ from case to case, depending upon which body part shall be going for the scan. The following are some of the things you may be required to do in order to prepare for it:

  1. You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothing items and wear a gown given by the hospital to you.

  2. You will also be asked to remove any and all metal objects like jewellery items, belts, eyeglasses, dentures etc which may come in the way of the test or scan in any way.

  3. Sometimes doctors also advise not to drink or eat anything for a few hours just before the scan or test.

A special dye which is known as contrast material is required for CT scans which help to highlight the body parts or organs which will be going under scan. What this material does is that it helps in blocking the x rays and comes as white in the images obtained. This white color can help emphasize on the organs or vessels etc.


Though the scan is painless, you may have some discomfort from remaining still for several minutes or from placement of an IV. If you have a hard time staying still, are very nervous, anxious or in pain, you may find a CT exam stressful. The technologist or nurse, under the direction of a doctor, may offer you some medication to help you tolerate the CT exam.

If an intravenous contrast material is used, you will feel a pin prick when the needle is inserted into your vein. You may feel warm or flushed while the contrast is injected. You also may have a metallic taste in your mouth. This will pass. You may feel a need to urinate. However, this is a contrast effect and subsides quickly.

When you enter the CT scanner, you may see special light lines projected onto your body. These lines are used to ensure that you are properly positioned. With modern CT scanners, you may hear slight buzzing, clicking and whirring sounds. These occur as the CT scanner's internal parts, not usually visible to you, revolve around you during the imaging process.

You will be alone in the exam room during the CT scan, unless there are special circumstances. For example, sometimes a parent wearing a lead shield may stay in the room with their child. However, the technologist will always be able to see, hear and speak with you through a built-in intercom system.

With pediatric patients, a parent may be allowed in the room but will be required to wear a lead apron to minimize radiation exposure.


After a CT exam, the technologist will remove the intravenous line used to inject the contrast material. The tiny hole made by the needle will be covered with a small dressing. You can return to your normal activities.

Testing time

10 to 20 minutes.A typical CT scan takes between 30 and 45 minutes to complete.

Normal range

ranging from 20 to 50 degrees


  1. CT Scan test helps to determine which surgeries are needed or required.

  2. CT Scan helps to reduce the requirement of exploratory surgeries.

  3. CT Scan has also proved to improve cancer diagnoses as well as treatment.

  4. CT scan helps to reduce the length of time one has to spend in hospitals due to tests and diagnoses process.

  5. CT Scan provides the exact location and nature of illness or injury, thus making the process of treatment easier for doctors.

  6. CT Scan also helps improve patient placement into the right areas of care like ICU etc.

  7. In case of emergency situations, CT scan quickly helps to assess the condition and thus provide needed treatment rapidly, thus helping in saving lives.

Common uses

As clear from the above given information, CT scan is an extremely useful test and an important tool in medical imaging. The following are some of its common uses:

  1. CT Scan for head test can be used to detect tumors, bone trauma, infarction and calcifications etc.

  2. CT Scan for lungs can be used to detect both chronic as well as acute changes in the internal of the lungs.

  3. Cardiac CT Scan test combined with subsection rotation can be used to obtain images of coronary arteries.

  4. CT Scan pulmonary angiogram can be used to detect pulmonary embolism to get images to pulmonary arteries.

  5. Pelvic and abdominal CT Scan is an excellent test to diagnose various abdominal diseases. It can help detect cancers and stages of cancers.

  6. It helps to image complex kinds of fractures, especially those which are around the area of the joints. It also helps to recognize dislocations and ligamentous injuries.

Global facts

Cervical spine pathology is becoming increasingly prevalent with an aging world population and is associated with significant morbidity, affecting all areas of the world (1). The World Health Organization has projected that the proportion of the population older than 60 years is to double from 11% in 2010 to 22% in 2050?an epidemiological transition reflecting the evolution from infectious diseases to chronic, degenerative diseases (2,3). This is posing a global health risk, particularly in developing countries, as individuals in this age group face high rates of symptomatic cervical pathology (3). Cervical spine surgery (CSS) improves outcomes in select patients with cervical spine pathology (4). Advancements in surgical techniques and technology have led to lower morbidity and mortality rates and reductions in long term neurological symptoms (5-7).

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