What are CT scans?

    Computer tomography goes by many names, with “CT scan” or “CAT scan” being the two most common. This type of imaging uses X-rays to create highly detailed images of the inside of the body, usually the organs.

    CT scanners feature a rotating X-ray device, capable of taking detailed cross section images, called “slices”. Unlike standard X-ray images, CT images show details of all tissues including organs, bones, blood vessels, and more.

    CT is often used to image the abdomen, body, head, or spine. Your physician may order a CT scan to screen for a variety of conditions, including heart disease, sinus problems, certain types of cancer or tumors, or problems with internal organs.

    For some patients with a history of heavy smoking, CT may also be recommended for lung cancer screening. For patients with suspected heart disease, we also provide an exam called coronary CT for cardiac scoring.

    How safe is a CT scan?

    CT scans at RMI use a low level of radiation, commonly referred to as “low-dose CT”.

    RMI stringently manages radiation dosages for patient safety, under the principles of the Image Gently program for pediatric patients and the Image Wisely program for adults.

    Learn more about CT scans on our main CT webpage, where you can learn how to prepare for this exam, download forms, and follow links to further information.