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Difference Between CT Scan and CAT Scan

cat-scanCT Scan vs. CAT Scan

Diagnostic exams are performed to spot any unusual occurrences that are happening in the human body. Many procedures, like the MRI, X-Ray and various other scans, can clearly give doctors, and medical practitioners alike, the impression of illness progression and prognosis of certain diseases. In this regard, the CT-Scan is one of the most popular scanning exams performed today. However, this procedure has been often confused with the so-called CAT scan. So, are these two exams different?

The answer is no. Historically, this same procedure was first known as the EMI scan, due to the place where the original equipment was developed being part of the EMI company.

Nevertheless, both CAT and CT scans refer to the same type of diagnostic examination. It just so happened that one term was used earlier, and the other was only recently coined as the more acceptable term. CT scan is the newer term, while CAT scan is the older term. The CT scan is completely known as ‘Computed Tomography’, while CAT scan, in full, is ‘Computed Axial Tomography’. In some references, CAT can also be the acronym for ‘computerized axial tomography’, but it still refers to the same thing. There are still quite a number of medical practitioners who prefer using the term CAT scan, because, as they say, it is the earlier term known by the masses, and is already with the majority’s common knowledge.

CAT scan ,or CT scan, almost works in the same way as modern day X-rays. The only leverage that it has over the latter, is that it employs multiple X-rays to emit a cross-sectional imaging technique. This makes the said procedure much more reliable in spotting abnormalities, as opposed to the usual X-ray procedure. CT scans show a 3D image of the body cavity being examined.

CT scans, in general, are primarily used for medical imaging that supports or helps establish the diagnosis of a certain type of disease, after more primitive diagnostic exams have been performed, like the X-ray and standard ultrasound (ultrasonography). CT scanning, nowadays, can help detect brain injuries, bleeding within body cavities, blood clots, strokes, hidden tumors, hydrocephalus (bigger brain cavities), bone malformations, tissue damage, blood vessel blockages, and even guide the needle in a brain tissue biopsy.

Truly, CT scans, or CAT scans, have been an important diagnostic procedure that continually helps improve the lives of men today. The differences that the two terms share are:

1. One is an older term, whereas the other is a newer name. In this regard, CAT scan is the older term compared to CT scan.

2. CT scan is preferred to be used nowadays for convenience sake.


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8 Comments

  1. You say that CT scans have “been an important diagnostic procedure that continually helps improve the lives of men today” but do not mention it’s affect on women. Have the scans also been found to improve the lives of women today? If so how?

  2. If you are referring to mankind, then you should fix the article. Men refers to the plural of the male gender. “Man” refers to mankind.

  3. I think it was a typo and they meant to say “many” rather than “men”.

    • I just scrolled down to see if anyone else had picked up on that! Yes maybe it was a spelling error, because it doesn’t really make sense as it is. I think Janis wasn’t being unintelligent. I think maybe she was politely making the point that it should include women too! :)

  4. Overall, a good article that adequately answers the question posed in the title, which almost certainly is the main reason people chose to read it in the first place.
    To first responder “janis”, I suggest that if you’re going to be petty, at least try to make it funny; and no, most people won’t find your brand of sarcasm to be funny.

    • Chuck– Many manly men may find the distinction petty, but some womanly men may find it inhumane to be subtlety excluded from humankind.

      Our language already has a built-in gender bias. It doesn’t need to be exacerbated by typos or misunderstandings about accepted word usage. Janis was quite polite in her comment, and the paid authors of articles, as well as the websites that post them, are responsible for checking the grammar and spelling of their material. Mistakes happen, yes, but there’s nothing wrong with alerting the writer to them, especially if the mistake at all changes or distracts from the message.

      That said, this was a very helpful article. I’ve been wondering about this for a while now. I’ll be getting a CT scan tomorrow. I’ll let you know, Chuck, if it reveals any brain tumors that can explain why I’m so petty and uptight about grammar rules and language bias!

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