X-Ray vs. CT Scan

Main Difference

The main difference between the X-ray and CT scan is that X-ray is used to detect the breakage and cracking and dislocation of bones, while a CT scan is used for the internal injuries and diagnosis of internal organs. X-ray is also used for the recognition of cancer and pneumonia.

X-Ray vs. CT Scan — Is There a Difference?

Difference Between X-Ray and CT Scan

X-Ray vs. CT Scan

X-ray use x-ray waves for scanning of the affected body part and provides 2D image while CT scan is an advanced technique which creates the three-dimensional view of the internal organ.

X-Ray vs. CT Scan

X-Ray is used for the diagnosis of bones, tumors while CT scan is used for the soft tissues and muscles.

X-Ray vs. CT Scan

The equipment used in X-ray is simple and small while in the case of CT scan more complex and sophisticated equipment is used.

X-Ray vs. CT Scan

X-ray is readily available and not very expensive, but a CT scan is a costly procedure.


Comparison Chart

X-RayCT scan
In this type of diagnosis light or radio waves are used by the X-ray machines and in the presence of these radiations, scans of affected parts of the body are taken.Computed tomography which is also known as CT scan is based on an advanced X-ray machine which gives the more acute details of the affected part of the body even the scans of soft tissues and muscles
Invented by
X-ray was invented by Wilhelm Rontgen in 1895CT scan was invented by Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack in 1972
Dimension of Images
Use to Diagnose
Tumors, broken bones, fractures, and pneumonia.Internal organs, soft tissues, spine, vertebrae, and muscles

X-Ray vs. CT scan

X-ray and CT scan are used for the better and accurate diagnosis of the diseases, broken bones, illness, fractures, and abnormalities. CT scan is also known as computed tomography technology. X-Ray machines are unable to detect the soft tissues, muscles and other body damages, that’s why computerized axial tomography technology is used for these types of diagnosis. CT scan gives the more accurate and better images of scan than X-ray. In X-ray image formed is always 2D but in case of CT scan 3D image is formed. X-ray is a cheap source of diagnosis while a CT scan is an expensive technique. X-ray does not focus on the target area, but the CT scan focuses on the target area.

What is X-Ray?

X-ray imaging is used to detect the fractured bones and other body abnormalities. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was the first man who discovered the X-ray in 1895. One day Sir Wilhelm studying the high voltage discharge phenomena in a partial vacuum tube. During his study, he noticed the fluorescence of barium platinocyanide screen lying several feet away in the same room. He was confused and wonderfully surprised by the reaction. He was unknown from this reaction and after this, this reaction named as X-ray. X-rays are the most common and readily available technique for the scanning of the damaged body parts. Light and radio rays are used in this type of scanning. During the X-ray, the body part is placed between the X-ray machine and photographic film, then radiations from the device are allowed to pass through the body and in this way scan of body part attend on the exposed film. A specific amount of emissions are allowed to move for a particular part of the body. Precautions are adopted both by the patient and doctor.


X-ray technology is used for the scanning of cracking bone, cancer, pneumonia, tumors, infections, dislocations, degeneration and bone diseases.

What is a CT scan?

CT (computed tomography) and a CAT (computerized axial tomography) can take many images from different angles. Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack were the first who invented the computed tomography in 1972. CT scan machine is considered an advanced type of X-ray machine. A scan of the body part can also be seen on the computer. CT scan test provides multiple images and in different directions. During the CT scan test, the patient lies on a table that slides on the scanner. In the meanwhile, machine rotates at 360 angles to take multiple images of the body. These images that are also called as “slices” can be viewed by the radiologist. There is some easy preparation from the test which drinks 8 to 20 glass of water, not to eat and take anything 3 to 4 hours before the scan. Some blood test is also ordered by the doctor. A CT scan test may take about 20 seconds or less. A CT scan is an extension of X-ray technology. CT scan focuses on the target area.


Computerized axial tomography is used in scanning of soft tissues, muscles, spine, vertebrae, blood vessels, and many internal organs.


The article concludes that both the X-ray and CT scan are used for the diagnosis of affected body parts. Both techniques use radiation for scanning. X-ray is a cheap and readily available technique to detect the fractured bone and tumors while CT scan is the expensive but not readily accessible type of scanning of soft tissues of the body.