Computed tomography (CT)
A CT is an Xray based imaging technique in which the body is scanned layer by layer. A computer uses these single scans to reconstruct a full image that shows the soft tissue structures of the body and and reveals minor differences in tissue density caused by tumors or other tissue changes. The scans are performed in a rapidly rotating X-ray tube with a beam of rays that has nearly the diameter of a pencil. CT imaging has become a frequently used technique in radiologic diagnostics and has replaced many invasive methods.
This imaging technique uses ultrasound (1-10 MHz) to depict the inner organs. It is based on the principles of sonography and it is a standard procedure in lymphoma diagnostics, where it is particularly helpful to examine the intra-abdominal organs and the soft tissue of the neck. Especially if liver and spleen are involved, ultrasonography can provide important information and complement other diagnostic procedures. In contrast to X-ray or CT scans, this imaging technique does not expose the patient to radiation.
An Xray image of the chest is particularly helpful to examine heart and lungs. Extensive tumor involvement of the lungs, effusions or large mediastinal tumor masses can be detected on an X-ray image. To record the tumor spread in the chest in more detail, a CT scan is required in addition. However, a chest X-ray is an obligatory diagnostic measure because with this imaging technique it can be determined whether a large mediastinal mass – a decisive risk factor – is present.