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Q. What does a CAT scan show?
A. A CAT (computer assisted tomography) scan is a type of x-ray that is actually a cross between an x-ray and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan because it shows bones and soft tissues. The CT scan creates images in "slices" that can show disc problems and degeneration of bones including bone spurs and facet hypertrophy (enlargement). CAT scan images are not as clear as x-rays or an MRI. To make the soft tissues easier to see, the CAT scan is often combined with a myelogram (my-low-gram), in which special dye is injected into your spinal canal to make the images easier to see.