brief History of Computed Tomography (CT) imaging
In the early 1970’s, Godfrey Hounsfield of England’s
EMI Laboratories invented a new technology that was to revolutionize
the field of diagnosis. Computerized tomography, CT scan for
short (also referred to as CAT scan, for Computerized Axial
Tomography), utilizes X-ray technology and, in its modern form,
sophisticated computers to create images of cross-section “slices”
through the body.
Each slice creates a detailed anatomical image at the precise
location of the slice — revealing bones, soft tissue,
the brain, organs, and blood vessels in very high detail.
The earliest CT Imaging scanners were limited
to imaging the head. In 1976, however, the technology has
evolved to whole-body scanners, and by the 1980s CT scanners
had gained widespread acceptance. Today, there are an estimated
30,00 locations around the world where this diagnostic tool
is in use.
The prototype CT imaging scanners required
roughly four minutes of lapsed time to acquire a single slice
or image, but modern units produce images in less than 0.5
seconds, and a complete body scan can be performed in just
a few seconds.
The evolution of CT imaging into an indispensable
and versatile diagnostic resource has been rapid, driven to
a significant degree by development of ever more sophisticated
computer software. Today, for example, Spiral CT Scanners
create “volume imaging” — scanning a section
of a body in one pass and then constructing the separate slices
afterwards. The operator of a Spiral CT scanner can create
2- or 3-dimensional images.
Speed, detail of imaging, and overall patient
friendliness are the hallmarks of modern CT imaging technology