Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by gabriel. gabriel Wonders, “what is a cat scan” Thanks for WONDERing with us, gabriel!
Have you or a friend or family member ever had a CAT scan? The first time you heard that term, you might have been curious. It’s only natural to WONDER why a doctor would use a cat to diagnose what’s wrong with you if you’re sick!
You may be relieved to find out that no actual cats are involved in a CAT scan. “CAT” actually stands for “Computed Axial Tomography.”
Some doctors may call these scans “Computed Tomography” or CT scans. Either way, it’s a mouthful to say. We’re sure you can understand why it’s easier to call them CAT or CT scans!
CAT or CT scans are advanced versions of X-rays. Regular X-rays can provide doctors with a two-dimensional view of a bone or other part of the body. CAT scans give doctors a much more detailed, three-dimensional view of what’s going on inside your body.
Why do doctors use CAT scans? They can help doctors figure out what is going on inside a person’s body when they’re sick. There are other uses for CAT scans, though. Some industries use CAT scans to see inside objects without destroying them. For example, archeologists have used CAT scans to see inside of mummies!
Have you ever seen a CAT scan machine? If so, you know it looks a bit like a big donut. To scan your body, a doctor will have you lay flat on a table that then passes through the ring of the donut. This doesn’t hurt a bit. Still, it can be a bit nerve-wracking if you don’t know what to expect.
As your body passes through the ring of the CAT scan machine, the machine takes many pictures with X-rays from hundreds of different angles. These images are then pasted together with a powerful computer. This gives doctors a unique three-dimensional picture of the inside of your body.
These images can help doctors diagnose all sorts of problems, including head injuries and cancer. CAT scans are an important tool that doctors all over the world use millions of times each year. Many people are very thankful for this piece of medical technology!
Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.10, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.W.7