Whole Body CT

A whole body CT scan uses X-rays to capture horizontal and vertical images of the body. A computer processes the cross-sectional images and generates a 3-D representation. Our radiologists use this 3-D representation to examine and focus on the chest, abdomen, and pelvic regions.

Whole-body CT scans can help identify potential medical complications before symptoms are present. Whole-body CTs focus on the major organs and corresponding body systems. These systems include the respiratory, circulatory, reproductive, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems.

The main benefit of a whole-body CT scan is the potential for early detection and treatment. For some diseases, early detection can make all the difference.

However, it is important to talk to your doctor and weigh the benefits of early detection against the risks involved with increased radiation exposure from CT. Consider your family history and assess your individual risk factors when evaluating the need for a preventative scan such as whole-body CT.

High-Risk Factors to Consider

  • Family history of cancer
  • History of an abdominal aneurysm
  • Smoking at least one pack of cigarettes a day for at least ten years
  • High cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure
  • Obesity or lack of physical activity


During a whole-body CT scan, you will be moved into the scanner feet-first, on your back.


A whole body CT scan typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

Exam Preparation

Being prepared for your CT scan helps us take the best possible images for diagnosis. Please visit our exam prep page for more instructions specific to whole-body CT preparation.

Joint CT Scan at the Meadowlark Diagnostic Imaging Centre
Whole body CT Scans Edmonton