What is a ct scan?
What is A CT Scan?

What is A CT Scan: Definition, 7 Indications, Contraindications, Costs, Why and Who Needs It

What is A CT Scan?

CT (computed tomography) scans are procedures that combine a series of X-ray images taken from different sides around a person’s body. This examination uses a computer to create cross-sectional images of the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues present in the person’s body. This procedure shows a more detailed image than a regular X-ray.

Why Do a CT Scan?

CT scans have many uses. However, this procedure is best used to quickly examine people suspected of internal injuries as a result of a car accident or other type of trauma. CT scans can be used to visualize almost any part of the body and to diagnose diseases or injuries. That way, the doctor can plan medical treatments that can be done, such as surgery or radiation.

Your doctor may recommend performing a CT scan for the following purposes:

  • Diagnose bone disorders, such as bone tumors and fractures.
  • Determine the location of tumors, infections, or blood clots.
  • As part of procedures, such as surgery, biopsy, and radiation therapy.
  • Detect and monitor disease conditions such as cancer, heart disease, pulmonary nodules, and liver mass.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of certain treatments, such as cancer treatment.
  • Detect internal injury or internal bleeding.

CT Scan Indications and Contraindications

Here is an example of the application of CT scan method on a number of organs of the body, among which are:

  • Chest, to see the presence of infections, pulmonary embolism, lung cancer, the spread of cancer from other organs to the chest area, or problems in the heart, esophagus, and large blood vessels (aorta).
  • Stomach, to detect the occurrence of infections, cysts, abscesses, tumors, bleeding, aneurysm, foreign objects, and enlargement of the lymph nodes, or notice the presence of diverticulitis and appendicitis.
  • Urinary tract, to detect the presence of infections in the urinary tract, kidney stones, bladder stones, other related diseases.
  • Pelvis, to detect any disturbances in the uterus, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, or pros**tate gland.
  • Legs or arms, for example to see the condition of the arms, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, thighs, limbs, knees, ankles, or feet.
  • Head, to see tumors and infections, or bleeding and fractures of the skull bones after a head injury.
  • Spine, to see the structure and slits of the spine, as well as to see the state of the spinal cord.

In general, CT scans are safe, fast, and painless examinations. However, CT scans should not be performed on pregnant women because exposure to radiation rays can pose a danger to the fetus. The use of contrast CT scans should also be considered in patients with impaired renal function and allergies to contrast.

How much does a CT scan cost?

The amount of the cost required to perform a CT scan varies depending on the hospital, the treatment class, and which part of the body to examine. 

  • Prices range from $410 to $2,334, a 469% difference (Change Healthcare Corp.)
  • The cost ranges from $270 on the very low end of nearly $5,000 on the high end.   (American Health Imaging).
  • The cost of CT Scan with and without Contrast ranges from $320 to $1,869  (MDsave)

The average cost of a CT scan in the United States is $3,275, though prices can range from $300 to $6,750.

Who needs a CT scan?

CT scans are among the fastest and most accurate supporting tests. This procedure can produce detailed images of the latitude of each part of the body.

CT scans are generally recommended to check people with the following conditions:

  • Injured, such as a motor vehicle accident.
  • Experience acute symptoms, such as abdominal pain, chest pain, or shortness of breath.
  • Potentially have a tumor or cancer. CT scans are the best method to ensure the presence, measure size, identify the location, and spread the tumor definitively.
  • Requires examination to detect, diagnose, and treat vascular diseases, such as pulmonary embolism or aortic aneurysm.

CT scans are also used in pediatric patients to evaluate the following diseases:


Last Updated on April 8, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team


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