Ultrasound vs CT Scan

It is common to need a screening performed at some point in your life, and a few of the most popular screenings are CT scans and ultrasounds. Throughout this article, we will discuss some of the key differences between CT scans and ultrasounds, while exploring the most popular topics associated with both.

What is a CT scan?

A CT scan, also known as a cat scan, stands for computerized tomography scan. This screening procedure uses computers and rotating x-ray machines to create a cross-sectional image of the body. Doctors can view soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones in various parts of the body.

We offer CT scans in the following locations:

Common areas of the body for CT Scans

  • Shoulders
  • Spine
  • Heart
  • Knees
  • Chest
  • Abdomen

What is an Ultrasound?

An Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images within the body. These images provide doctors with valuable information for diagnosing and treating various conditions. Below are a few reasons why a physician might order an ultrasound.

We offer ultrasounds in the following locations:

Common reasons ultrasounds are performed:

  • Diagnosing gallbladder disease
  • Detecting genital or prostate problems
  • Assessing joint inflammation
  • Evaluating metabolic bone disease
  • Evaluating blood flow

CT Scan and and Ultrasound Comparison


CT Scan Procedure

When conducting a CT scan, patients are moved through the scanning machine. A series of x-rays, and an x-ray detector, are rotating in sync so that the x-rays that pass through the areas of focus can produce different images in axial and helical mode. These images can be viewed immediately on a screen monitor or recorded for later analysis. Most ct-scans generally take 10-30 minutes. In terms of radiation exposure, the dose is from 2 to 10 mSv. Therefore this procedure is not recommended for anyone pregnant or for children (unless absolutely necessary).

Ultrasound Procedure

Before beginning the screening, a gel is applied to the region being examined. This is done to prevent air pockets which can block sound that create the images. Then, a trained technician presses a small, handheld device (transducer) to the affected area and moves as needed to capture the images.  The images can be viewed on a monitor immediately and in real-time as the sonographer is performing the movement of the transducer. This procedure typically takes 10-15 minutes to complete, and no radiation is present.


CT Scan Diagnostic

CT scans are mainly used to identify any bone and/or joint issues. Below, are a few common things a CT can be used to diagnose:

  • Assess the extent of internal injuries or internal bleeding
  • Study blood vessels and other internal structures
  • Guide for procedures or biopsies
  • Diagnose infections, muscle disorders, and bone structures

Ultrasound Diagnostic

Ultrasound is mainly effective in screening organs within the body. Below, are a few conditions that can be diagnosed with ultrasounds:

  • Liver Cancer
  • Gallstones
  • Abnormal enlargement of the spleen
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Abnormal growth in the liver or pancreas

Contact us today if you seek further information or if you are considering having either one of these procedures done.