A CT scan (sometimes called a CAT scan) is a test that uses X-rays to create clear, detailed images of body tissues.  CT scans help doctors diagnose and treat many types of injuries and illnesses.  A CT scan can be performed on any part of the body.

How does a CT scan work?

During a CT scan, special X-ray equipment takes many images of the body from different angles by rotating an x-ray tube around the body.  A computer then uses the information to create detailed images.  The images look like thin cross-sections ("slices") of the area being studied.  Some CT scans use a clear liquid called contrast (a special dye that shows up on X-rays).  During the CT scan, the contrast helps to highlight blood vessels or certain types of tissues.

Safety in Imaging

At Intermountain Healthcare, our goal is to use the least amount of radiation (X-ray energy) needed to produce quality images.  We work hard to make sure our equipment is safe and appropriate for your test.  Our imaging teams have regular training on radiation safety.  We communicate with doctors to help them choose imaging tests wisely.


Learn more about how Intermountain Healthcare reduces radiation dose.

Learn more about Coronary Calcium CT Scans

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