How CT Scans Produce Cross-Sectional Images
CT scans, or computed tomography, use computer technology along with X-ray capabilities to photograph the internal organs. CT imaging produces cross-sectional images of the organs so that doctors do not just see a flat picture, they see slices of the examined area. With CT scans, doctors can see through, into and around different body parts without the impediment of things like bones and muscles. This allows for a high level of detail and accuracy when looking at a patient’s body and finding the cause of disease.
CTs work to take “slices” of the body’s interior, meaning that if there is a spot or area to be examined, the machine takes several images of the same part but from multiple angles, ensuring that nothing is missed. These images are able to uncover what cannot be seen by the naked eye. And for patients that need CTs, they are the best way to get critical medical information without making any incisions. Because of the low dosage of radiation used in CTs, children and senior citizens can experience the benefits and advantages that CTs offer.
How Historians Used CT Scans to Examine King Richard III
CT scans have been a tool for diagnostic medicine for several decades. As medical technology and research become more advanced, this tool has been found in places other than hospitals, including places like laboratories and history books. By using the power of CT machines, numerous educational institutions are able to use CT technology to decipher and explain the mysteries of the past.
Understanding CT scans is a key skill for historians that specialize in discovering anything that has been dead and buried for centuries. For many archeologists and scholars, CTs can provide answers that no other method of academia can. They can even act as a forensic tool in solving centuries-old mysteries. A recent example of this is from 2012 when British scholars found the skeleton of King Richard III, a man who died over 500 years ago. While the stories and portrayal of King Richard III may be varied and less than perfect, what cannot be denied is how he died, thanks to understanding CT scans.
For many centuries, the skeleton of King Richard III was misplaced, a highly unusual fact for a person of royalty. In 2012, a group of scholars matched a map of the Battle of Bosworth Field and found what they believed to be the King’s skeleton underneath a parking lot in central London. However amazing their discovery might have been, without concrete forensic evidence, there would be no way to prove that this was the skeleton of a former English ruler.
Different accounts of Richard III remark at his physical appearance, most notably, a hunchback. The unearthed skeleton contained a spine curvature. Combined with the location of the skeleton, those who found him were positive that it was the former king. Historians were able to test the DNA of surviving relatives of Richard III to find out more about his appearance and answer the question as to how he died. By understanding CT scans and examining the skull, they were able to determine two specific blows to the head as well as another 11 harmful injuries on the body that likely contributed to his death, historians were able to discover all those facts about a 500-year-old skeleton.
If you have other questions about what CTs can see and do, check out the CT Scan Service Page or call 504-883-8111 and speak to a representative.