Thoracic CT

Thoracic CT; CT scan - lungs; CT scan - chest

A chest CT (computed tomography) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the chest and upper abdomen.

CT scan

CT stands for computerized tomography. In this procedure, a thin X-ray beam is rotated around the area of the body to be visualized. Using very complicated mathematical processes called algorithms, the computer is able to generate a 3-D image of a section through the body. CT scans are very detailed and provide excellent information for the physician.

Thyroid cancer - CT scan

This CT scan of the upper chest (thorax) shows a malignant thyroid tumor (cancer). The dark area around the trachea (marked by the white U-shaped tip of the respiratory tube) is an area where normal tissue has been eroded and died (necrosis) as a result of tumor growth.

Pulmonary nodule, solitary - CT scan

This CT scan shows a single lesion (pulmonary nodule) in the right lung. This nodule is seen as the light circle in the upper portion of the dark area on the left side of the picture. A normal lung would look completely black in a CT scan.

Lung mass, right upper lobe - CT scan

This is a CT scan of the upper lungs. This individual has a mass in upper part of the right lung (left side of picture).

Bronchial cancer - CT scan

This chest CT scan shows a cross-section of a person with bronchial cancer. The two dark areas are the lungs. The light areas within the lungs represent the cancer.

Lung mass, right lung - CT scan

This is a CT scan of the upper chest showing a mass in the right lung (seen on the left side of the picture).

Lung nodule, right lower lung - CT scan

A CT scan showing a mass in right lower chest near the heart (left side of photograph).

Lung with squamous cell cancer - CT scan

This CT scan shows a cross section of the lungs of a person with lung cancer. The two dark areas in the middle of the screen are the lungs. The light areas in the right lung (on the left of the screen) represent the cancer.

Vertebra, thoracic (mid back)

These are twelve vertebra of the mid back. The last vertebra (on the left side of the picture) attaches to the lumbar (lower) spine, and the top vertebra (on the right) attaches to the cervical (neck) section of the back. The vertebra are broader and stronger than the cervical bones. This allows them to absorb the added pressure applied to the mid back, but they remain a common sight of injury. The vertebra are numbered from one to twelve and labeled T1, T2, T3, et cetera, from the upper most bones to the lowest.

Normal lung anatomy

The lungs are a major part of respiratory system. The function of the respiratory system is to supply the body with oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide.

Thoracic organs

The thorax is also called the chest and contains the main organs of respiration and circulation. The heart through its main artery, the aorta, pumps oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. The lungs provide oxygen to the cells of the body and eliminate carbon dioxide. Together these organs sustain some of the most critical life functions of the body.

How the Test is Performed

How to Prepare for the Test

How the Test will Feel

Why the Test is Performed

What Abnormal Results Mean