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Who Needs a Chest CT Scan?

Your doctor may recommend a chest CT scan if you have symptoms of lung problems, such as chest pain or trouble breathing. The scan can help find the cause of the symptoms.

A chest CT scan looks for problems such as tumors, excess fluid around the lungs, and pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs). The scan also checks for other conditions, such as tuberculosis, emphysema, and pneumonia.

Your doctor may recommend a chest CT scan if a standard chest x ray doesn't help diagnose the problem. The chest CT scan can:

  • Provide more detailed pictures of your lungs and other chest structures than a standard chest x ray
  • Find the exact location of a tumor or other problem
  • Show something that isn't visible on a chest x ray
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Chest CT Scan Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Chest CT Scan, visit

January 01, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.