JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Colonic polyp. Coloured 3-D electron beam tomography (EBT) scan of the colon showing a polyp (benign tumour, upper left). EBT provides clearer, more detailed information about body tissues than CT (computed tomography) scans & reduces the time patients are exposed to dangerous radiation. EBT involves firing an electron beam against tungsten targets arranged in a 210 degree arc below the patient. These produce X-rays which pass through the patient. A computer is able to produce cross- sectional (slice) images of the body tissues, and 3-D images can be built up by combining many slices. Polyps are usually removed surgically as they cause obstruction and may become cancerous.
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