Computer tomography, also called CT scan, is a medical procedure in which X-ray images of the anatomy of the body are taken with the aid of a computer. The CT procedure, which was revolutionized in the 1970s, has undergone enormous development and is one of the leading applications in radiology.
A computer tomograph is a large device with a round opening in the middle. During the examination, the patient lies down on a bed which moves into the CT tube. Meanwhile, the X-ray tube rotates continuously around the person's longitudinal axis. The required X-ray image is captured within one second, the entire examination usually takes only a few minutes up to half an hour.
There are different types of CT machines, which differ in functionality and quality. The conventional form of CT equipment is the incremental CT. The CT machine is driven along the patient for several measurements. The patient is not allowed to move during the CT examination due to the machine's high sensitivity. The further the CT scanner travels, the more layers of the body it examines.
Difference to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
There is no general answer to the question of which examination procedure - CT or MRI - is better. Both MRI and CT have their advantages and disadvantages. The MRI machine works with magnetic fields that are free of radiation. CT devices, on the other hand, work with X-rays.
An MRI is particularly suitable for the imaging of soft tissue, the CT for the imaging of bony structures. Which type of examination actually makes more sense is decided individually. Frequently, the economic aspect also plays a major role in determining which device is used.