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CT Scan (Contrast)

CT Scan (Contrast):CT Scan (Contrast)

Overview

"CT Scan or Computed Tomography scan is a diagnostic imaging test which is used to create fully detailed images of bones, organs, blood vessels and soft tissues. CT Scan images can be further reformatted in several planes and can also be converted into 3D images. Since CT Scan images help to detect and confirm major problems in organs and bones, CT scans are the best way to detect several types of cancers. It is an accurate, fast and non invasive procedure which helps to reveal various internal injuries as well as bleeding, thus aiding in saving lives.

The term computed tomography (CT) is mostly referred to as to X-ray CT, because it is the most popularly known form. But there are various others form of CT scans as well and some of them include Positron emission tomography (PET) as well as Single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT). In the last two decades, the use of CT Scan technology or test has increased rapidly. Millions of CT scans are performed every year in most developed countries to detect diseases and illnesses.

There are various kinds of CT scans and some include the following: CT Scan CERVICO THORACIC SPINE, CT Scan KUB WITH CONTRAST, CT Scan BRAIN, CT Scan BREAST etc.

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Preparation(Before)

Preparation for CT scan diagnostic test may differ from case to case, depending upon which body part shall be going for the scan. The following are some of the things you may be required to do in order to prepare for it:

  1. You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothing items and wear a gown given by the hospital to you.

  2. You will also be asked to remove any and all metal objects like jewellery items, belts, eyeglasses, dentures etc which may come in the way of the test or scan in any way.

  3. Sometimes doctors also advise not to drink or eat anything for a few hours just before the scan or test.

A special dye which is known as contrast material is required for CT scans which help to highlight the body parts or organs which will be going under scan. What this material does is that it helps in blocking the x rays and comes as white in the images obtained. This white color can help emphasize on the organs or vessels etc.

Preparation(On-time)

A typical abdominal CT scan takes from 10 to 30 minutes. It?s performed in a hospital?s radiology department or a clinic that specializes in diagnostic procedures.

Once you?re dressed in your hospital gown, a CT technician will have you lie down on the procedure table. Depending on the reason for your scan, you may be hooked up to an IV so that contrast dye can be put into your veins. You?ll probably feel a warm sensation throughout your body when the dye is infused into your veins. The technician may require you to lie in a specific position during the test. They may use pillows or straps to make sure you stay in the right position long enough to get a good quality image. You may also have to hold your breath briefly during parts of the scan. Using a remote control from a separate room, the technician will move the table into the CT machine, which looks like a giant doughnut made of plastic and metal. You?ll most likely go through the machine several times. After a round of scans, you may be required to wait while the technician reviews the images to make sure they?re clear enough for your doctor to read.

Possible side effects of an abdominal CT scan The side effects of an abdominal CT scan are most often caused by a reaction to any contrast used. In most cases, they?re mild. However, if they become more severe, you should call your doctor right away.

Side effects of barium contrast can include:

abdominal cramping diarrhea nausea or vomiting constipation Side effects of iodine contrast can include:

skin rash or hives itching headache If you?re given either type of contrast and have severe symptoms, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away. These symptoms include:

trouble breathing rapid heart rate swelling of your throat or other body parts Risks of an abdominal CT scan An abdominal CT is a relatively safe procedure, but there are risks. This is especially true for children, who are more sensitive to radiation exposure than adults. Your child?s doctor may order a CT scan only as a last resort, and only if other tests cannot confirm a diagnosis.

Risks of an abdominal CT scan include the following:

Allergic reaction You may develop a skin rash or itchiness if you?re allergic to the oral contrast. A life-threatening allergic reaction can also happen, but this is rare.

Tell your doctor about any sensitivities to medications or any kidney problems you have. IV contrast raises the risk of kidney failure if you?re dehydrated or have a preexisting kidney problem.

Birth defects Because exposure to radiation during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects, it?s important to tell your doctor if you are or might be pregnant. As a precaution, your doctor may suggest another imaging test instead, such as an MRI or an ultrasound.

Slightly increased risk of cancer You?ll be exposed to radiation during the test. The amount of radiation is higher than the amount used with an X-ray. As a result, an abdominal CT scan slightly increases your risk of cancer.

However, keep in mind that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source estimates that any one person?s risk of cancer from a CT scan is much lower than their risk of getting cancer naturally.

After an abdominal CT scan After your abdominal CT scan, you can likely return to your regular daily activities.

Results for an abdominal CT scan typically take one day to process. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss your results. If your results are abnormal, it could be for several reasons. The test could have found problems, such as:

kidney problems like kidney stones or infection liver problems like alcohol-related liver disease Crohn?s disease abdominal aortic aneurysm cancer, such as in the colon or pancreas With an abnormal result, your doctor will likely schedule you for more testing to find out more about the problem. When they have all the information they need, your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Together, you can create a plan to manage or treat your condition.

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Last medically reviewed on July 5, 2017

8 sourcescollapsed

Medically reviewed by Graham Rogers, MD ? Written by the Healthline Editorial Team ? Updated on September 28, 2018

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Preparation(After)

After your abdominal CT scan, you can likely return to your regular daily activities.

Results for an abdominal CT scan typically take one day to process. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss your results. If your results are abnormal, it could be for several reasons. The test could have found problems, such as:

  • kidney problems like kidney stones or infection
  • liver problems like alcohol-related liver disease
  • Crohn?s disease
  • abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • cancer, such as in the colon or pancreas

With an abnormal result, your doctor will likely schedule you for more testing to find out more about the problem. When they have all the information they need, your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Together, you can create a plan to manage or treat your condition.

Testing time

The CT scanning is usually completed within 30 minutes.

Report delivery time

How long will it take for my physician to get the results of my CT scan? Your radiologists will review and interpret your CT scan as soon as it's completed. Within 24 hours, your doctor will receive a written report, as well as copies of the images for their own inspection.

Normal range

CT scan results are considered normal if the radiologist didn't see any tumors, blood clots, fractures, or other abnormalities in the images. If any abnormalities are detected during the CT scan, you may need further tests or treatments, depending on the type of abnormality found. ADVERTISEMENT.

Benefits

  1. CT Scan test helps to determine which surgeries are needed or required.

  2. CT Scan helps to reduce the requirement of exploratory surgeries.

  3. CT Scan has also proved to improve cancer diagnoses as well as treatment.

  4. CT scan helps to reduce the length of time one has to spend in hospitals due to tests and diagnoses process.

  5. CT Scan provides the exact location and nature of illness or injury, thus making the process of treatment easier for doctors.

  6. CT Scan also helps improve patient placement into the right areas of care like ICU etc.

  7. In case of emergency situations, CT scan quickly helps to assess the condition and thus provide needed treatment rapidly, thus helping in saving lives.

Common uses

As clear from the above given information, CT scan is an extremely useful test and an important tool in medical imaging. The following are some of its common uses:

  1. CT Scan for head test can be used to detect tumors, bone trauma, infarction and calcifications etc.

  2. CT Scan for lungs can be used to detect both chronic as well as acute changes in the internal of the lungs.

  3. Cardiac CT Scan test combined with subsection rotation can be used to obtain images of coronary arteries.

  4. CT Scan pulmonary angiogram can be used to detect pulmonary embolism to get images to pulmonary arteries.

  5. Pelvic and abdominal CT Scan is an excellent test to diagnose various abdominal diseases. It can help detect cancers and stages of cancers.

  6. It helps to image complex kinds of fractures, especially those which are around the area of the joints. It also helps to recognize dislocations and ligamentous injuries.

Global facts

CT scanning adds X-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views of a patientâ??s anatomy.

Customer support

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