CT scans are used to study areas of the body and the arms or legs.
Chest (thorax). A CT scan of the chest can look for problems with the lungs, the heart, the esophagus, or the major blood vessel (aorta) or the tissues in the center of the chest. Some common chest problems a CT scan may find include infection, lung cancer, a pulmonary embolism, and an aneurysm. It also can be used to see if cancer has spread into the chest from another area of the body.
Gallbladder and bile ducts. A CT scan can be used to check for blockage of the bile ducts. Gallstones occasionally show up on a CT scan. But other tests, such as ultrasound, usually are used to find problems with the gallbladder and bile ducts.
Adrenal glands. A CT scan can find tumors or enlarged adrenal glands.
Spleen. A CT scan can be used to check for an injury to the spleen or the size of the spleen.
Arm or leg. A CT scan can look for problems of the arms or legs, including the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle, or foot.
Other uses for a CT scan
A CT scan may be used to make sure a procedure is done correctly. For example, the doctor may use CT to guide a needle during a tissue biopsy or to guide the proper placement of a needle to drain an abscess.
For people with cancer, a CT scan can help determine how much the cancer has spread. This is called staging the cancer.