A computed tomography scan is a study that uses a series of X-Rays to create image "slices" of the body. This type of study is commonly called a CAT scan, but the terminology CT Scan is preferred. The "A" in CAT refers to "axial," or computed axial tomography. Axial is an orientation of images, but with other orientations available, the study is referred to as a CT scan.
In the CT scan, the patient is on a table that has a doughnut shaped device at one end. This device contains an X-ray that takes images of the body from different orientations. A computer integrates these images to create a two-dimensional image of the body. The images represent slices of the body, and are usually completed in a series with about one slice per centimeter.