Computed Tomography (CT), commonly referred to as a Cat Scan, uses x-rays and a computer to generate cross-sectional images of a region of interest.  CT is often used for imaging of the chest, abdomen, nose, bones and joints.

Examples of studies that CT is very useful in assessing include:

  • Changes in lungs – Eg. Tumor spread (metastasis), pulmonary fibrosis
  • Masses or tumors within the chest cavity
  • Nasal cavity disease – Eg. Tumors vs. Inflammation (rhinitis)
  • Development orthopedic disease – Eg. Elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis dessicans (OCD)
  • Spinal or pelvic trauma – Eg. Following Hit-By-Car Accidents
  • Vascular Anomalies – Eg. Portosystemic shunts

Normal examination of the lungs with thoracic (chest) CT.

CT is also employed to guide Biospy or Needle aspirates of difficult to reach lesions.

The CT scanner at Mass Vet is an 8-slice machine, meaning it can acquire 8-slices of data at once, thus greatly reducing scan time. This allows us to perform many scans under sedation, without the need for general anesthesia.


Use of CT in Neurology

CT can be used to visualize the brain and spinal cord and tends to be less expensive than MRI, but it is provides much less detail than MRI, and in some cases does not demonstrate abnormalities that can be detected with MRI.  As a result, MRI is our primary imaging tool to visualize the nervous system at Mass Vet.

In neurology, our CT machine is used primarily for assessment of bone abnormalities (fractures, bone tumors) and CT-guided brain biopsies.

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