CT Scan of the Head or Brain
CT scanning provides more detailed information on head injuries, stroke, brain tumors and other brain diseases than X-rays.
Common Uses of a Head CT
CT scanning of the head is typically used to detect:
- Bleeding, brain injury and skull fractures in patients with head injuries
- Bleeding caused by a ruptured or leaking aneurysm in a patient with a sudden severe headache
- Blood clot or bleeding within the brain shortly after a patient exhibits symptoms of a stroke
- Brain tumors
- Diseases or malformations of the skull
- Enlarged brain cavities (ventricles) in patients with hydrocephalus
CT scanning is also performed to:
- Assess aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations through a technique called CT angiography.
- Diagnose diseases of the temporal bone on the side of the skull, which may be causing hearing problems.
- Determine whether inflammation or other changes are present in the paranasal sinuses.
- Evaluate the extent of bone and soft tissue damage in patients with facial trauma, and planning surgical reconstruction.
- Guide the passage of a needle used to obtain a tissue sample (biopsy) from the brain.
- Plan radiation therapy for cancer of the brain or other tissues.