The imaging technology or machine vision has revolutionized the medical world. It enables the doctors to watch vital organs, identify blockages and growths and diagnose signs of diseases without doing surgery.
Comupted Tomography (CT) or 'CAT scanning' combines the use of a digital computer together with a rotating X-ray device to create detailed cross sectional images or 'slices' of the different organs.
Among the various imaging techniques CT has the unique ability to image a combination of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels. For example, conventional x-ray image of the head can only show the dense bone structures of the skull. X-ray angiography of the head depicts only the head and neck and not the soft brain-tissue. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging does an excellent job of showing soft tissue and blood vessels, but MRdoes not give as much details of bony structures such as the skull.CT images of the head allow physicians to see soft-tissues, anatomic structures like the brain's ventricles, of grey and white matter. CT can provide detailed cross sectional images and diagnostc information for nearly every part of the body.
1. CT is an invaluable tool in the cancer diagnosis process and is often the preferred method for diagnosing lung, liver and pancreas cancer.
2. CT imaging and CT angiography are finding a greater role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, acute stroke and vascular diseases, which can lead to stroke, gangrene or kidney failure.
3. CT can be used to measure bone mineral density for the detection of osteoporosis.
4. CT has excellent application in trauma cases and other internal bleeding in patients.
5. CT is used extensively for diagnosing problems of the inner ears and sinuses. The anatomy of the inner ear and sinuses is made up of delicate soft tissue structures and very fine bones. CT is excellent for imaging tumors or polyps in the sinuses and disease that cause degeneration of the small bones in the inner ear.
6. CT has been the basis for interventional work like CT guided biopsy and minimally invasive therapy. CT images are also used as basis for planning radiotherapy cancer treatment. CT is also often used to follow the course of cancer treatment to determine how the tumor is responding to treatment.