CT (computer tomography), sometimes called CAT scan, uses special X-ray equipment to obtain image data from different angles around the body, and then uses computer processing of the information to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs.
Body CT imaging is particularly useful because it can show several types of tissue – lung, bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels – with great clarity. It is often the preferred method for diagnosing many different cancers, including lung, liver, and pancreatic cancer, since the image allows a physician to confirm the presence of a tumor and to measure its size, precise location, and the extent of the tumor's involvement with other nearby tissue. CT can clearly show even very small bones, as well as surrounding tissues such as muscle and blood vessels. CT images can also be used to measure bone mineral density for the detection of osteoporosis. In cases of trauma, CT can quickly identify injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys, or other internal organs. CT can also play a significant role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of vascular diseases that can lead to stroke, gangrene or kidney failure.