CT of the stomach: that shows whether a gastroscopy?


The development of modern endoscopic methods of diagnostics allows you to broadcast a real image of the lining of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum to a monitor apparatus. Thus, with the help of a gastroscopy it is possible to identify most of the diseases of the upper digestive system.

However, the endoscopic method can be used to examine only the mucosa (inner) membrane of the gastro-intestinal tract, gastroscopy is not allows to diagnose pathological processes in the muscle and serous layers, as well as the condition of the surrounding tissues and organs. If the doctor has a suspicion that the process is not confined to mucous membrane, it may appoint a CT scan.

Especially the study of hollow organs

The gastrointestinal tract refers to the hollow organs, which when empty is quite difficult subject to study, so native (without contrast) CT for the diagnosis of diseases of the digestive tube is not used.

But, computed tomography visualizes well the cavity filled with liquid or gas. Therefore, before performing CT, the stomach is filled with liquid. There are different methods of filling the stomach: for this purpose is ordinary water, some experts suggest the patient before the study to drink a weak aqueous solution of contrast liquid.

In Western Europe and the United States filling the air is used but this technique is accompanied by unpleasant sensations of the patient during filling with gas and after the study, when the gas needs to leave the stomach.

In addition to the oral method is intravenous contrast, which, reaching the walls on the blood vessels, making them more clear on the tomograms. As a contrast during CT uses x-ray contrast agents based on iodine.

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To diagnose any disease a CT scan?

As a rule, CT is necessary for stomach cancer and other types of cancer processes of the body. Insidious malignant tumors is that they are capable of hitting not only the on that started the tumor growth, but also to grow into the surrounding tissues and organs, and also to give distant metastases (liver, lungs, brain), these complications are not seen during gastroscopy. Involved in cancer and regional (nearby) lymph nodes.

A CT scan allows not only to identify the prevalence of tumors inside of the body wall, but the extent of the process in the abdominal cavity and lymph nodes. Another advantage of CT before the gastroscopy is that by identifying pathology in the stomach, the doctor can immediately view and adjacent organs: pancreas, liver, peritoneum.

Such information is necessary for cancer to an oncologist to determine a method of treatment of the patient at the initial stages of oncological process required radical surgery with removal of the tumor. For cancer that has spread beyond the stomach surgery is contraindicated, as it can accelerate the growth of the tumor, so chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

KT informative not only for diagnosis of malignant tumors, as well as gastroscopy, it shows benign tumors, polyps, strictures and stenosis. For the diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease method is rarely used as the filling body of liquid or gas can cause complications: perforation or bleeding from ulcers, so the diagnosis is carried out mainly by gastroscopy.

How to prepare for the exam?

The study is performed on an empty stomach, so before the examination can not eat or drink for five hours before the examination. If at this time it is important to take the drug, it is recommended to drink minimum amount of water.

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Going to the procedure you must bring your results with research, for example, gastroscopy, x-rays and ultrasound. Other preparation is required.

Contraindications to the procedure

Since the method is based on the use of x-rays, its use is absolutely contraindicated to pregnant women and also undesirable to re-study for a short period of time.

Modern vehicles have a minimum radiation exposure comparable to a conventional radiograph, so the use of computed tomography in children is safe, but, in accordance with standards of care, they are assigned only in case of emergency. Limits the application of research and considerable weight of the patient, wherein the procedure is not technically possible (up to 120-150 kg, depending on the specific model of the scanner).

Contrast impossible with allergic reactions to iodine and other components contrasting drugs, renal failure, severe diabetes and thyroid diseases. Other contraindications to study there.