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CT Scans at University of Colorado Hospital

What is a CT Scan?

Radiology - CT Scan

A CT scan, sometimes called a CAT scan, uses x-rays to take small image “slices” from different angles around the body.

These smaller image slices of body tissue help reveal more details than standard x-rays. CT images are particularly useful because they can show several different kinds of the body’s tissue:

  • Organs - such as the liver, pancreas, intestines, kidneys, bladder, adrenal glands, lungs, and heart
  • Bones
  • Blood vessels
  • Spinal cord


Download our CT Scan Patient Printout and Screening Form (AOP) - (Includes frequently asked questions about CT Scan procedures)

Download an Information Sheet about your Appointment in the AIP

How is a CT Scan Used?

CT images are used to detect, diagnose and monitor problems in many different parts of the body:


Abdomen and Pelvis

Used to help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain and diseases of the bowel and colon


Angiography CT

Used to examine blood vessels in key areas of the body. An angiography may be used to help find potential blockages early, determine extent of damage from blockage or guide procedures. Perfusion


Chest CT

One of the best tools for studying the chest. It may be used to help detect lung cancer or tumors and monitor the progression of disease or effectiveness of treatment.


Head CT

Provides detailed information on head injuries, stroke, brain tumors and other brain diseases.


Heart CT for Calcium Scoring

May show potential blockages in the arteries. It may be used to detect coronary artery disease (CAD) at an early stage when there are no symptoms and to determine its severity.


Sinuses CT

Used to evaluate sinuses, detect inflammatory disease and diagnose sinusitis


Spine CT

The bony structure of the spinal vertebrae is clearly and accurately shown by CT scanning, as are the intervertebral disks and, to some degree, the spinal cord. CT is used to evaluate the spine to diagnose spinal pain, detect and evaluate damage, and monitor effectiveness of treatments and surgery.


CT Colonography CT

(“virtual colonoscopy”)

Used to view the inside of the large intestine to screen for polyps. The goal is to find them early before they develop into cancer.

Patient Radiation and Safety Information

Radiology facilities at University of Colorado Hospital make imaging safety our number one priority. We take every precaution necessary to make sure that you are safe during your imaging test or procedure.


Find out more about CT scans