Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Head and Face
A computed tomography (CT) scan uses Reference X-rays Opens New Window to make pictures of the head and face.
During the test, you will lie on a table that is attached to the CT scanner, which is a large doughnut-shaped machine. Your head will be positioned inside the scanner. The CT scanner sends X-rays through the head. Each rotation of the scanner provides a picture of a thin slice of the head and face. One part of the scanning machine can tilt to take pictures from different positions. All of the pictures are saved as a group on a computer. They also can be printed.
In some cases, a dye called Reference contrast material Opens New Window may be put in a vein (Reference IV Opens New Window) in your arm or into the spinal canal. The dye makes structures and organs easier to see on the CT pictures. The dye may be used to check blood flow and look for Reference tumors Opens New Window, areas of Reference inflammation Opens New Window, or nerve damage.
A CT scan of the head can give some information about the eyes, facial bones, air-filled cavities (sinuses) within the bones around the nose, and the inner ear. If these areas are of concern, a specific CT scan of the area is usually done.
A CT scan of the head may be used to evaluate headaches. For more information, see:
- Opens New Window Headaches: Should I Have Imaging Tests to Find Out What's Causing My Headaches? Opens New Window
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 21, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology