Computed Tomography

Computed Tomography (CT) is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices) of the body. Unlike general X-rays, CT scans show detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles and organs. They often aid in diagnosing internal conditions, such as tumors, internal bleeding and internal injuries, that may not be seen in a conventional X-ray.

During a CT scan, the X-ray tube moves in a circle around the body. This allows a different view of the organ or structure and provides much greater detail. The X-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the data and displays it in 2-D form on a monitor. While several images are taken during a CT scan, in many cases, the patient may receive less radiation exposure than with a single standard X-ray.

CT scans may be done with or without contrast, which is a liquid substance taken by mouth or injected into an intravenous (IV) line. Contrast causes the particular organ or tissue under study to be seen in more detail. Contrast examinations may require the patient to fast for a certain period of time before the procedure.

Houston Methodist is dedicated to providing the safest, most effective imaging for patients on our 64-Slice CT. This scanner provides sharp, clear, 3-D images, including 3-D views of blood vessels. It can gather high-resolution images of a heart, brain or lungs in about five seconds; a scan of the whole body takes about 30 seconds. This new technology minimizes the radiation dosage that our patients receive.

We also specialize in a wide array of imaging procedures:
  • CT angiographic scans
  • CT fluoroscopy
  • CT 3-D imaging
  • CT brain perfusion

Our facilities are equipped with computers and software that allow for advanced specialized post-processing for 3-D imaging, ensuring that physicians and patients receive information in a timely manner.

To learn more about CT scans and how to prepare for your appointment, please review our frequently asked questions (FAQs).


Our radiologists at Houston Methodist specialize in performing computed tomography (CT) at the following convenient locations: