Head of patient in a CT scanner

Head of patient in a CT scanner

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Credit: THOMAS FREDBERG/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: PROPERTY RELEASED. MODEL RELEASED. A patient ready for a CT scan. The red laser lines are used to align the patient. Also known as CAT (computed axial tomography) scanning, CT (computed tomography) scanning is a diagnostic technique in which X-rays are passed through the body at different angles to produce cross sectional images. Contrast media may be administered in some patients, intravenously or via the digestive system. These agents are opaque to X-rays and enhance the contrast of the images, improving the detail of the scans. A computer then produces cross-sectional images of the tissue being examined. This technique provides clearer and more detailed information about body tissues than X- rays used by themselves.

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