Abdominal CT Scan: What Can It Diagnose?
2 Min Read
The abdomen and pelvis of the human body consist of many digestive organs, as well as the urinary and reproductive systems. CT scan of the abdomen is often prescribed by doctors to help diagnose abscesses, tumours, kidney stones, and infections, or to look for the cause behind any unexplained abdominal pain.
What is an abdominal CT scan?
An Abdominal Computed Tomography (CT) is a diagnostic test used to determine diseases affecting organs such as the liver, gallbladder, intestines, appendix, stomach, pancreas, and kidney among others. It uses sophisticated low doses of radiation to process cutaway images of the specific area of interest, which enables the doctor to look at the section from all possible angles. In emergency situations, the scan is used to detect internal haemorrhages or organ ruptures, thus saving lives.
When is a CT scan of the abdomen recommended?
This scan is usually recommended when a doctor is unable to diagnose a condition after physical examination or lab tests, or when a basic ultrasound scan shows inconclusive evidence. An abdominal CT scan can be prescribed to detect unexplained pain in the abdomen, any unusual growth or lumps, the size and location of kidney stones, infections in the intestine or appendicitis, internal bleeding in emergency cases, cancerous growths, etc.
Preparing for an abdominal CT scan
- Before the scan is conducted, the doctor will have a detailed discussion regarding your personal and medical history, and also if you are pregnant/breastfeeding or planning for a pregnancy.
- You may also be asked to provide information on any existing medical conditions such as diabetes, liver, kidney, or heart problems and allergies.
- You may be already taking medications, and this is also taken into consideration.
- Loose-fitting garments or a hospital gown will be provided. Before the scan, your body should be devoid of any metallic objects including jewellery, dentures, hearing aids and the like.
- You may be asked to not eat or drink anything for a few hours before the test.
An abdominal CT scan can take anywhere between 5-20 minutes. It seldom causes discomfort, as opposed to MRI scans which take longer and could cause claustrophobia.
The CT scan of the abdomen may last longer if your doctor insists or an oral or IV contrast in order to help enhance images captured by the scan. The side effects could include nausea, vomiting and rarely an allergic reaction to the contrast medium used.
Understanding an abdominal CT scan result
The radiologist studies the results and organises a detailed report. An abnormality in the scan directs the doctor to further course of action. More tests may be suggested for a detailed and precise diagnosis for deciding on the mode of treatment to be adopted.
You can now book your CT scan test online on MFine at affordable rates in a lab near you. You will receive a detailed report on your app, along with a free consultation with a physician for you to gain more insight into what the report suggests.
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