Computed Tomography (CT Scan)
Computed Tomography, or CT Scan, is a noninvasive, painless medical test, that is used to diagnose and treat medical conditions. In terms of body composition, the high quality images can be processed to differentiate and measure the amounts of fat and lean body tissue, and further distinguish between intra-abdominal fat to extra-abdominal fat.
purpose: to accurately and directly measure body composition, and distinguish between intra-abdominal fat and extra-abdominal fat.
equipment required: CT Scanner, which is typically a large machine with a tunnel in the center. A movable examination table, on which the patient lies, slides into and out of this tunnel.
pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: An x-ray tube rotates around the subject and sends a beam of photons toward a detector opposite. The data is collected, stored, and applied to complex algorithms to build cross-sectional images of the body, which can further be processed into 3D images.
results: CT is particularly useful in giving a ratio of intra-abdominal fat to extra-abdominal fat.
advantages: this is a noninvasive method for body composition analysis
disadvantages: the potential of CT analysis is limited by exposure to radiation and high equipment cost.
other comments: also known as computed axial tomography or CAT Scans.