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Contempo 1999
April 14, 1999

Advances in the Use of Computed Tomography

JAMA. 1999;281(14):1252-1254. doi:10.1001/jama.281.14.1252

The utility of computed tomography (CT) in clinical practice continues to grow, related in large part to advancements in technology. In 1997, more than 27 million CT scaning procedures were performed in the United States, with the number of studies increasing at a rate of 10% per year.1 With the introduction of helical technology (eg, a continuous spiral motion of the gantry—the frame that houses the rotating x-ray tube), the list of accepted indications for CT imaging has substantially increased, particularly in the evaluation of acute thoracic and abdominal conditions. Helical technology is relatively easy to perform and is widely available in primary and tertiary care settings. We report selected advances in CT imaging that are proving clinically useful in a general medical practice.