Computed Tomography (CT)

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 the body using a rotating, tube-shaped machine.

A primary advantage of CT imaging is that it can be done on all types of body tissue (such as muscle and bone) without sacrificing clarity. A special X-ray dye (contrast) may be used to increase viewing over the target area.

CT scans, which are also non-invasive and completely painless, may be used to evaluate:

  • Intracranial vasculature, stenosis or stroke
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Hearing loss
  • Sinus problems
  • Cardiac problems
  • Abdomen and pelvis problems

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

Advanced Imaging Technology

With six computed tomography (CT) scanners and the latest CT imaging technology, our radiologists are able to quickly and accurately diagnose serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, appendicitis and cancer.

UC San Diego Health is the only facility in San Diego County to offer a 320-slice CT scanner, an ultra-fast, low-dose scanner that provides very high-resolution images. We also have two state-of-the-art, 64-slice CT scanners, which can be used in place of more invasive diagnostic methods (such as cardiac catheterization).

Fast, Accurate and Safe

Our 320-slice CT scanner has the ability to perform "whole-heart coverage" with just one rotation. It can complete this scan in less time than a heartbeat, allowing for quality evaluations of coronary vessels and cardiac function. The fast imaging time also reduces patients' exposure to radiation.

CT scans also set the standard for stroke imaging. A complete and detailed image of the entire brain can be obtained in one 60-second scan. This allows for rapid examination of intracranial vasculature, stenosis or stroke. The ability to perform a brain assessment quickly can improve a person's outcome and quality of life.

CT Imaging Locations