Abdominal CT with contrast
Computed tomography as a diagnostic method of examination of patient was invented and patented in 1972. 7 years later the authors of the procedure received a Nobel prize. Difficulties encountered in the diagnostic process when examining a particular organ, prompted scientists to use a contrast agent. This method allowed us to more accurately establish the diagnosis, since imaging of organs well perfused, it was much better.
The diagnostic value of contrast imaging
Contrast computed tomography of the abdominal cavity allows to identify the following pathological processes:
Computed tomography of the abdomen is used when you suspect the following diseases:
- hepatic cirrhosis;
- inflammation of the liver (hepatitis);
- abscess any location within the abdominal cavity;
- vascular aneurysms, e.g. abdominal aorta;
- cysts, for example, ovarian cysts in women, reaching a large size, which leads to them stepping outside the small pelvis;
- metastatic lymph nodes;
- cancer of any organ;
- inflammation of the gallbladder wall.
In addition to these indications abdominal CT with contrast is performed, if the person had abdominal trauma. In such a situation it is very difficult by other methods to exclude rupture of the liver, which may not have obvious clinical manifestations. However, bleeding into the abdominal cavity continues, which threatens a person with hemorrhagic shock and death. But to avoid these consequences do CT scan using contrast substance. If it appears in the abdominal cavity, it indicates the liver damage, as it abundantly is supplied.
The necessity of performing CT with intravenous contrast medium occurs in the following cases:
- evaluation of the effectiveness of therapy, especially cancer;
- the preparatory period for surgical intervention on the stomach, the intestines, the gallbladder;
- clarify the diagnosis of malignant tumors, cirrhosis and others with doubts about previously performed diagnostic studies;
- in the presence of contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging, for example, in the case of an implanted pacemaker.
When the research is to give
Contrast computed tomography has certain diagnostic limitations. They are connected with impossibility of application of the study under the following conditions (contraindications for CT):
- the presence of intolerance to iodine, including allergic;
- pregnancy in any trimester (in complex diagnostic cases, these patients are advised MRI);
- the patient’s weight over 150 kg (table-bench is not designed for a lot of people);
- marked insufficiency of kidney function, as they participate in the removal of iodine-containing substances (so patients who have serious kidney problems, prior to contrast CT is shown to determine creatinine clearance);
- mental inadequacy of the patient, when it can’t be left alone;
- the presence of metallic objects in the human body, for example, metal plates for fractures;
- the fear of enclosed spaces.
How safe is CT scan?
The harm from this procedure is becoming less obvious. Modern machines use special filters that retain the dangerous x-rays, without reducing the diagnostic value of the study.
It got to have to be harmed by standard radiography may be greater than from CT. It should be noted that the CT scan of the abdomen even on older devices is accompanied by the emission of radiation dose equal to 10 mSv. With modern equipment this dose usually does not exceed 5 mSv. Empirically established that the safe level of radiation for a person in a year is 150 mSv. So you’ll be able to determine how many times during the year, there is an opportunity through the CT.
The preparatory phase
The preparatory phase prior to conducting the computer tomography of the abdominal cavity is a critical step, as it determines the visualization of the examined organs. Therefore, the preparation of people should be approached with the utmost seriousness. The basic rules we will consider here, because the doctor, when people talk about it, he usually forgets half due to experiences. Here you will be able to remember everything that you told the doctor and nothing important is missed.
So, the basic rules of the preparatory stage is:
1. 2-3 days before the intended study it is necessary to refuse products that stimulate the increased formation of gas in the intestines. Otherwise, due to flatulence not get a clear picture of the internal organs, their contours are blurred, so there are conditions to allow a minimum of pathological processes, or Vice versa, for overdiagnosis. From the diet before the test it is necessary to exclude:
- rye bread;
- milk (with lactase deficiency);
2. Before the study, it is desirable to do a cleansing enema, especially if there is a tendency to constipation. You can resort to the traditional procedure or the use of special microclysters, which are more gentle effects on the bowels.
3. A day, when will be the CT scan, you cannot eat. Water to drink is permitted.
I came to the clinic for a few minutes to research will be introduced contrast agent by intravenous way. Only if it is necessary to consider carefully the stomach, the contrast with iodine will have a drink (there are special formulations).
Description of the research
X-ray contrast imaging with the use of computer is made on the special device – the scanner. To do this, after all the preparatory procedures, the patient is on the table-couch, which is in the process of research moves relative to the scanning machines. This gives you the opportunity to obtain a series of images at different levels, but in mutually perpendicular planes.
During CT, the patient is in the room itself. However, if a person has discomfort, he can press the alarm button. The study will cease and the honey.staff, to find out the cause of appeared discomfort.
The doctor, managing the procedure, sitting in the control room in front of the computer. Depending on the images that appear on the monitor, it can change the level and depth of scanning. Usually the study takes up to an hour, but in some cases it takes more time to establish a definite diagnosis.