Understanding CT Scans and Their Remarkable Images

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, 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.

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 splices 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.

Understanding CT scans is a key skill for historians that specialize in the discovering that which 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. The most recent example of this is British scholars finding 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 mediocre 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 his location, those who found him were positive that it was the former king. Historians were able to test the DNA of surviving relatives to Richard III 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 2 specific blows to the head as well as an additional 11 other harmful injuries on the body that likely contributed to his death. They were able to discover these facts about a 500 year old skeleton thanks to the high imaging features of CT scans. Imagine what they can see in you!

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.  They 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. This technology helps so many doctors and their patients, as well as scholars and their students, find answers and help maintain a high quality of life.

If you have other questions about what CTs can see and do, check out the CT Scan Service Page on Doctors Imaging website or you can call 504-883-8111 and speak to a representative.

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