A CT scan, also called X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT) and computerized axial tomography scan (CAT scan), makes use of computer-processed combinations of many X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images (virtual "slices") of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside the object without cutting.
Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of the object from a large series of two-dimensional radiographic images taken around a single axis of rotation.
Medical imaging is the most common application of X-ray CT; its cross-sectional images are used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in various medical disciplines.
CT produces a volume of data that can be manipulated in order to demonstrate various bodily structures based on their ability to block the X-ray beam. Although, historically, the images generated were in the axial or transverse plane, perpendicular to the long axis of the body, modern scanners allow this volume of data to be reformatted in various planes or even as volumetric (3D) representations of structures.