What is a CT with contrast?
Computerized tomography is a diagnostic test that uses advanced, digital X-rays. Modern equipment allows reconstructions of the images not only in the axial plane, but also on every level. The average duration of the examination is 10-15 minutes.
What is the purpose of a CT with contrast?
The CT scan is used to perform diagnostic tests for chronic diseases, inflammation and cancer of all parts of the body. The injection of the contrast agent facilitates the visualization of certain details useful for the assessment, such as arteries, veins, lymph nodes, and parenchyma.
To undergo a CT scan with contrast the patient should fast for at least six hours before the examination. It is also recommended that the patient undergo certain blood tests prior to the exam in order to obtain information about the liver and kidney function.
On the day of the exam, the patient is asked to bring recent blood test results that include levels of:
- Ratio kappa / lambda (or protein electrophoresis)
Which patients can undergo the exam?
The CT scan involves the use of high radiation and therefore its use should be limited in children and it is not recommended for pregnant women.
Is the exam painful or dangerous?
The exam is completely painless. The patient may experience a feeling of warmth after the injection of the contrast agent.
How is the exam performed?
The patient is made to lie in a supine position on a mobile bed. To obtain quality images, it is necessary that the patient remains still throughout the entire exam. Once the patient is in position, the machine emits X-rays and revolves continuously around the patient. The bed moves in a horizontal direction in order to allow acquisition of images of many areas in the body.