- computerized axial tomography
the process of producing a CAT scan. Also called computed tomography, computer-assisted tomography, computerized tomography. Cf. CAT scanner.[1970-75]
* * *diagnostic imaging method using a low-dose beam of X-rays that crosses the body in a single plane at many different angles.Computerized axial tomography was conceived by William Oldendorf and developed independently by Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield (Hounsfield, Sir Godfrey Newbold) and Allan MacLeod Cormack (Cormack, Allan MacLeod), who shared a 1979 Nobel Prize for their inventions. A major advance in imaging technology, it became generally available in the early 1970s. Detectors record the strength of the exiting X-rays; this information is then processed by computer to produce a detailed two-dimensional cross-sectional image of the body. A series of such images in parallel planes or around an axis can show the location of abnormalities (especially tumours and other masses) more precisely than can conventional X-ray images.
* * *