Computed tomography

Computed tomography or CT scan (previously known as CAT scan, the "A" standing for "axial") uses ionizing radiation (x-ray radiation) in conjunction with a computer to create images of both soft and hard tissues. These images look as though the patient was sliced like bread (thus, "tomography"-- "tomo" means "slice"). Though CT uses a higher amount of ionizing x-radiation than diagnostic x-rays (both utilizing X-ray radiation), with advances in technology, levels of CT radiation dose and scan times have reduced. CT exams are generally short, most lasting only as long as a breath-hold, Contrast agents are also often used, depending on the tissues needing to be seen. Radiographers perform these examinations, sometimes in conjunction with a radiologist (for instance, when a radiologist performs a CT-guided biopsy).