What are the different types of CT or CAT scans?

Different types of Computerized Tomography scans, or CT scans, are named for different uses or for what images they are trying to record. However, in most all cases, the basic technology of the CT itself stays the same. X-rays are taken to form three-dimensional images of body parts and organs for radiologists, specialists and doctors to examine.

CT scans can be as pinpointed and tiny as a detailed scan of a bile duct or as large as a more generalized full-body scan. In some cases, CT scans are often paired with Positron Emission Tomography scans, or PET scans, to produce results much more quickly than with conventional CT scans.

Refinements in CT scan technology are evolving constantly which bring even better picture quality. Newer CT scans called "spiral" or "helical" CT scans can provide more rapid and accurate visualization of internal organs.

These recently developed and accurate methods differ from the conventional CT. During the spiral CT the X-ray beam remains on continuously and rotates around the patient as the patient is moved through. This is a much more efficient technique that can reduce the scanning time of the entire abdomen, for example, from approximately two minutes using the conventional CT to 20-30 seconds using the spiral. The resulting images are three-dimensional rather than the two-dimensional images created with conventional techniques.

High resolution CT scans (HRCT) are used to accurately assess the lungs for inflammation and scarring.

There are many other types of CT scans. To find out more about a specific one, click any from the list below to read more:

Abdominal or Abdomen CT scans
Adrenal Gland CT scans
Arm CT scans
Bile Duct CT scans
Brain CT scans
Chest (thorax) CT scans
Gallbladder CT scans
Head CT scans
Leg CT scans
Liver CT scans
Neck CT scans
Pancreas CT scans
Pelvis CT scans
Sinus CT scans
Spine CT scans
Spleen CT scans
Urinary tract CT scans


GOOD SOURCES FOR FURTHER READING: Dictionary of Medical Terms, 4th Edition, from A&C Black Publishers Ltd., Grey's Anatomy, The Classic Collector's Edition, by Henry Gray, Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, Second Edition by Mayo Clinic, Howard Gallager, Mayo Foundation, Women's Health, Men's Health and Health for Seniors all by Professor Peter Abrahams, the National Cancer Institute, the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Radiology.

Doctors say this head CT scan reveals normal brain.

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