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What Does a Chest CT Scan Show?

A chest CT scan provides detailed pictures of the size, shape, and position of your lungs and other structures in your chest. Doctors use this test to:

  • Follow up on abnormal results from standard chest x rays.
  • Find the cause of lung symptoms, such as shortness of breath or chest pain.
  • Find out whether you have a lung problem, such as a tumor, excess fluid around the lungs, or a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs). The test also is used to check for other conditions, such as tuberculosis, emphysema, and pneumonia.
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Last Updated: February 29, 2012