Interpreting CT Head Scans

The book reviewed here is ‘Interpreting CT Head Scans. A Basic Guide to Image Analysis’ by L.Albertyn and R.Brown. Imaging studies play an increasingly important role in psychiatry as the prevalence of conditions such as dementia increases.

The book is divided into 8 chapters. Firstly the basic principles of CT scanning are introduced including scanning techniques and some basic physics including the Hounsfield Unit which is a measure of X-ray attenuation which is translated into a grey-scale contour. These principles were introduced with clear and simple descriptions which are helpful to those coming fresh to the subject. They also describe the standard protocols for creating image slices. There are also some very nice anatomical illustrations with corresponding CT scan images for comparison. I found the most useful chapter to be that on the normal scan which gives the reader a system for approaching CT scan images including paying close attention to the Scout Image, a standardised view which allows for an examination of expected features as well as orientation of other image sections. A checklist for working through the images is included and explained. There follows a lengthy and useful chapter on abnormal scans with lots of images to back up the theory, and then a chapter on extending the search pattern looking at other anatomical features such as the sinuses and middle ear before moving onto abberations in the images and concluding with some worked case examples.

The authors adopt a friendly almost informal approach throughout the book which is very engaging and the authors’ passion for their subject is evident. This is a useful introduction to the subject for those who want to learn more about this area.


Interpreting CT Head Scans. A Basic Guide to Image Analysis. L Albertyn and R Brown. Churchill Livingstone.


The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

One comment

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