CT Scans of Brain Cancer

Updated at: Jan 13, 2014
CT Scans of Brain Cancer

Spiral and helical Ct scans allows doctors to visualise complex 3D anatomy

Mallika Singh
Other DiseasesWritten by: Mallika SinghPublished at: Dec 13, 2011

The CT scan

A CT scan is a computerized axial tomography scan, which combines a series of x rays to generate a cross sectional view of the brain. They could also be three dimensional images of the brain structure to assure immaculate medical examination. A CT scan is a low risk process but may have self limiting side effects like itching, rashes or a slight increase in body temperature. These side effects efface themselves quickly. The amount of radiation received via a CT scan is minimal but shouldn’t be performed on a pregnant woman. Brain tumours are detected through Ct scans, MRI’s, X-rays and angiograms.

The New Technology

With the advancement of science and technology, the image quality of a CT scan has drastically improved. Doctors are now equipped to diagnose the tumours much in advance with low risk techniques. The up-gradation in technology promises patient safety. Newer CT scan methods called “helical” and “spiral” CT scans provide immaculate visualization of the brain and detects the possibility of a tumour. These CT scans identify normal and abnormal brain structures to guide the procedure of the treatment.

Spiral and Helical CT scan

During the 1980’s, a power slip ring was developed which would debunk the use of an x-ray cable the scanning process.  The invention of the power slip gave rise to a revolution in CT called the spiral and helical scanning procedures. The path taken by the x-rays during the scanning process are spiral or helix, hence the term has been coined to this type of CT scan.
The spiral or helix CT scanners are technically so advanced that they can image anatomies like the lungs within 20 to 30 seconds. Initially in order to acquire the image of a body part, the scanner would congregate an individual slice image, which could have been misaligned owing to the breathing or slight movement of the patient during the scan. The spiral or helix CT scanner do away with this limitation and acquires volumes of data with the patient’s anatomy in one position. This data is then reconstructed by the computer into three dimensional images. These 3D images allows doctors to visualise complex fractures, ligament tears, facial trauma are decide the procedure to be followed owing to clear CT scans.


Preparation for a CT scan


  • Avoid consuming food before a CT scan
  • Fluids to be restricted number of hours before an examination
  • If any individual has an allergy to contrast material such as iodine should inform the doctor prior to taking the CT scan
  • All metallic materials should be removed from your body for clarity of the image
  • The procedure may take 30 minutes to 90minutes to perform


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