When should a CT Scan be Performed?

Under what circumstances do we opt for CT Scans then?

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

CT scans are usually the best imaging studies for looking inside the skull following head trauma. They are also the best imaging studies for other specific situations, including looking inside the lungs for cancer.

After a head trauma, the advantages of CT scans are most clear for those children under 2, those experiencing dizziness, vision, or behavior changes, those with skull fractures, and those with a mechanism of injury likely to cause a serious problem (this is one reason I’m such a big fan of bicycle, skateboard, scooter, and motorcycle helmets). If the doctor has a high degree of suspicion that there is a problem, a CT scan can be the wisest thing to do.

Read More From This Series:
CT Scan Defined
CT Scan, Ultrasound or MRI?
CT Scan Safety
CT Scans and Radiation Exposure
CT Scan Risks
Higher Risks in Children
Who Should Receive a CT Scan?
X-Ray or a CT Scan?
Alternatives to a CT Scan
When Should a CT Scan be Performed?
Important Tip to Reduce to Radiation
Questions to Ask before Every CT Scan
Other Radiation Exposures
Measures That Radiologists Should Adhere to When Administering a CT Scan
CT Scans and Cancer
When are MRIs not Practical?
What is Ionizing Radiation?
Who are Radiologists?

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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  1. Simone

    My little girl now is 3, but where her head has fused together where the soft spot was it’s now like a hill — like bump there. Do soft spots turn into little lump hills? My doc felt and says it has to do with where the head fuses together and it’s normal, but I keep checking as I don’t think it is.


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