What are CT scanners?
A CT scanner is a machine which is used to generate CT scans (also known as CAT scans and computerised tomography scans). The machine is large and ring-shaped, with a hole in the middle for the patient to pass through. Within the scanner, there is an X-ray machine that rotates as the patient passes through, whilst they are spread out on a bed. As the patient goes through the machine, the scanner generates images that are sent to a computer to be analysed by medical professionals.
The scanner produces images known as tomograms, which are much more detailed than normal X-ray images. These detailed images enable medical professionals and specialists to view images of the internal organs and structures, as well as the bones at a greater level of detail.
What are CT scans used for?
CT scans may be used for a variety of reasons – they can be used in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring processes. CT scanners can also be used to rule out health conditions or diseases. CT scans are able to analyse different parts of the body, being routinely used in the diagnosis and evaluation of the following health conditions:
- Tumours and certain forms of cancer, including lung, pancreatic and liver cancer.
- Investigations of the brain following strokes.
- Identifying swelling or blockages in the arteries and diagnosing vascular diseases.
- Detecting inflammation of the internal organs.
- Detecting internal damage or injuries after an accident, such as a road traffic accident.
- Injuries and diseases affecting the bones.
- Identifying damaged tissue, which can be useful prior to radiotherapy for cancer treatment.
- Spinal injuries.
What industries are CT scanners used in?
CT scanners are most commonly used in the medical industry, with medical professionals using CT scanners on a daily basis to help with the diagnosis and treatment of a range of different ailments and conditions. CT scans have become much more common over the course of the last decade.
CT scanners are also used by dental professional, who may require CT scan images to prepare for complex dental implant procedures. The images attained allow the dentist to virtually conduct the procedure before they do so for real, which helps eliminate errors and increases accuracy.
CT scanners may also be used in the industrial field, in which it can be used for failure analysis, 3D scanning, prototyping, quality control and 3D metrology.