X-ray computed tomography

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X-ray computerized tomography is a type of computed tomography and is defined as "tomography using x-ray transmission and a computer algorithm to reconstruct the image."[1] The scans can be fairly quick, on the order of low minutes, and thus extremely valuable in urgent situations. Recent studies have shown that they deliver more ionizing radiation than once thought, making it a more risk-benefit decision of when to use them than nonionizing but slow magnetic resonance imaging or fast but less precise ultrasonography, or less precise two-dimensional X-rays. When urgency is not an issue, CT may give better quality than MRI for different studies (e.g., CT of the abdomen vs. MRI of the skull).


Newer types of X-ray computerized tomography


Tree-in-bud sign

The tree-in-bud sign on CT of the chest "represents bronchiolar luminal impaction with mucus, pus, or fluid, which demarcates the normally invisible branching course of the peripheral airways."[5][6]

Adverse effects

The risk associated with a CT scan (the increased risk of cancer associated with the radiation doses) is extremely low for any one person. However, given the increasing number of CT scans being obtained, the increasing exposure to radiation in the population may be a public health issue in the future. [7]


  1. Anonymous (2023), X-ray computed tomography (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Anonymous (2023), Tomography, Spiral Computed (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  3. Stein PD, Yaekoub AY, Matta F, Sostman HD (August 2008). "64-slice CT for diagnosis of coronary artery disease: a systematic review". The American journal of medicine 121 (8): 715–25. DOI:10.1016/j.amjmed.2008.02.039. PMID 18691486. Research Blogging.
  4. Anonymous (2023), Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  5. Eisenhuber E (2002). "The tree-in-bud sign.". Radiology 222 (3): 771-2. PMID 11867799.
  6. Gosset N, Bankier AA, Eisenberg RL (2009). "Tree-in-bud pattern.". AJR Am J Roentgenol 193 (6): W472-7. DOI:10.2214/AJR.09.3401. PMID 19933620. Research Blogging.
  7. Brenner DJ, Hall EJ (2007). "Computed tomography--an increasing source of radiation exposure". N Engl J Med 357: 2277–84. DOI:10.1056/NEJMra072149. PMID 18046031. Research Blogging.