Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Spine
A CT scan uses
X-rays to make detailed pictures of the spine and vertebrae .
test, you will lie on a table that is attached to the CT scanner, which is a
large doughnut-shaped machine. The CT scanner sends X-rays through the body.
Each rotation of the scanner takes a second and provides a picture of a thin
slice of the organ or area being studied. One part of the scanning machine can
tilt to follow the curve of your spine. All of the pictures are saved as a
group on a computer. They also can be printed.
In some cases, a
dye called contrast material may be put in a vein (IV) in your arm or into the spinal canal. The dye makes structures and organs easier to see on the CT
pictures. The dye may be used to check blood flow and look for
tumors, areas of
inflammation, or nerve damage.
Why It Is Done
CT scan of the spine is done to:
- Look at the bones of the spine
- Find problems of the spine, such as tumors,
fractures, deformities, infection, or narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).
- Find a
herniated disc of the spine.
- Check to see
osteoporosis has caused
- Check on problems
of the spine that have been present since birth (congenital).
at problems seen during a standard X-ray test.
- Check how well
spinal surgery or therapy is working for a spine problem.