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.
Urinary tract. A CT scan of the kidneys,
ureters, and bladder is called a CT KUB or CT urogram.
This type of scan can find
kidney stones, bladder stones, or blockage of the
urinary tract. A special type of CT scan, called a CT intravenous
pyelogram (IVP), uses injected dye (contrast material) to look for kidney stones, blockage, growths, infection, or
other diseases of the urinary tract.
Liver. A CT scan can find liver tumors, bleeding
from the liver, and liver diseases. A CT scan of the liver can help determine
the cause of
Gallbladder and bile ducts. A CT scan can be used
to check for blockage of the
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
Other uses for a CT scan
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
For people with cancer, a CT
scan can help determine how much the cancer has spread. This is called staging