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Computed Tomography (CT)

Head CT scan.

What is Computed Tomography?

Computed tomography (CT) – also known as CT imaging and CAT scanning – is a type of X-ray that provides detailed, cross-sectional (sliced) images of body tissue and organs using a rotating, tube-shaped machine.

CT imaging can be done on all types of body tissue (e.g., muscle, bone) without sacrificing clarity. A special X-ray dye (contrast) is sometimes used with a CT scan to increase viewing over a certain area (e.g., appendix).

CT scans can evaluate:

  • Stroke
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Make An Appointment

    Call 619-543-3405

    Locations

    Hillcrest
    UC San Diego Medical Center
    Mon – Fri: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Sat – Sun: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    La Jolla
    Thornton Hospital
    Mon – Fri: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Sat – Sun: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Hearing loss
  • Sinus problems
  • Cardiac problems
  • Abdomen and pelvis problems

Our team also uses CT scans to facilitate needle-biopsy procedures.

With six computed tomography (CT) scanners and the latest CT imaging technology, our radiologists are able to quickly and accurately diagnose deadly conditions such as cardiovascular disease, appendicitis and cancer. We also offer dynamic volume scanning for critical stroke code patients.

The Latest in CT Imaging Technology

We are also one of the only facilities in Southern California – and the only facility in San Diego County – to offer the 320-slice CT scanner.

The 320-slice CT scanner is an ultra-fast, low-dose scanner that has the ability to perform “whole heart coverage” with just one rotation. It can do this in less than a heartbeat, allowing for high-quality images to evaluate coronary vessels and analyze cardiac function. Because of its quick imaging time and ability to deliver precise radiation dose, patients are exposed to the lowest radiation dose possible. 

Health Library

For more information, visit our health library:

UC San Diego is also home to two state-of-the-art, 64-slice CT scanners. This scanner can be used in place of more invasive diagnostic methods (e.g., cardiac catheterization) and exposes patients to less radiation than with standard technology.

Fast and Accurate

Our 320-slice and 64-slice CT scanners let physicians perform comprehensive assessment of the entire brain and retain clear and detailed images in one, 60-second acquisition. This allows for rapid examination of intracranial vasculature, stenosis or stroke.

Improving Quality of Life

The ability to perform a brain assessment in less than ten minutes has direct influence on a person's outcome and quality of life, and sets the standard for stroke imaging and cardiac studies.