Health news
Health news top Health news

   Login  |  Register    
Health News Make AMN Your Home PageDiscussion BoardsAdvanced Search ToolMedical RSS/XML News FeedHealth news
  You are here : Health.am > Health Centers > Medical Encyclopedia

Abdominal CT scan

AAug 17 05

Definition
An Abdominal CT scan involves X-ray images of the abdomen from many angles. The X-ray beams are detected by the scanner and analyzed by a computer. The computer reconstructs the data into a picture of the body area being scanned. These images can be viewed on a monitor or reproduced as photographs.

How the test is performed

The CT scanner is a free-standing machine with a large hole in the center. The patient lies on a narrow table that slides into the hole. In most cases the patient will be on his or her back with arms raised above his head. Patients who have difficulty with enclosed spaces such as those found with some MRI scanners do not usually have a problem with this type of test.

A dye may be injected into a peripheral vein to better evaluate certain diseases and organs. The radiologist will decide if this is necessary. Tell the technician or radiologist if you have any allergies or have had difficulty with prior CT scans.

It is very important that the patient remains still throughout the exam and holds his or her breath when asked. This will allow for better images.

The actual scan time is usually about two minutes, although the entire procedure usually takes much longer.

How to prepare for the test

Tell the health care provider if you have any allergies or have had difficulty with prior CT scans.

You may be advised to fast for 4 to 6 hours if contrast dye or sedation is to be used.

You will be given a hospital gown to wear during the procedure. You may be asked to sign a consent form.

Infants and children:
The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child’s age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child’s age:

How the test will feel
The X-Rays are painless. The primary discomfort may be from the need to lie still on the table.

If a dye is needed to increase the contrast between different tissues or organs, it is administered by injection into a vein. The injection may sting and the site may be tender to the touch for several minutes. Dye injections may cause a warm sensation, a metallic taste and, in a few cases, Hives. Very rarely more severe contrast reactions can occur.

Why the test is performed

An abdominal CT is a noninvasive way for a health care provider to evaluate a patient’s internal organs and tissues. There are many reasons for this test to be ordered. Some common uses are for the evaluation of tumors, infections, Kidney stones, or appendicitis.

What abnormal results mean

The CT scan may show the following:

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed include the following:

What the risks are


CT scans and other X-Rays are monitored and regulated to provide the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. CT scans provide low levels of radiation. During pregnancy, an Abdominal CT scan is usually not recommended, because there is some evidence of risk to the fetus.

The most common dye used is iodine based. A person who is allergic to iodine may experience Nausea, sneezing, Vomiting, itching, or Hives. Rarely, the dye may cause anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic response).

Special considerations

A CT scan provides a better picture of internal organs than conventional X-Rays. The benefits of an Abdominal CT scan usually far outweigh the risks of radiation exposure.

Last Edited: Aug. 17 2005

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 6, 2007
by Dave R. Roger, M.D.

Email this to a friend Bookmark this! Printable Version

Medical Encyclopedia
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | 0-9

All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.
   [advanced search]   
What health info have you recently searched for online?
Disease or condition
Exercise or fitness
Diet, nutrition or vitamins
None of the above


Get free support - Headache Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment on HeadacheCare.net


Health Centers







Diabetes

















Health news
  


Health Encyclopedia

Diseases & Conditions

Drugs & Medications

Health Tools

Health Tools



   Health newsletter

  





   Medical Links



   RSS/XML News Feed



   Feedback


Add to Yahoo RSS News Feed



Google Reader




Syndicate


This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
Verify here.