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Computer Tomography (CT) scan of the head is an imaging procedure which uses X-rays to create detailed images of the head.

What is a CT Scan of the Head with Contrast2?

CT scan of the head with contrast uses a special contrast dye which helps highlight some areas of the head.

The CT scan is a non-invasive procedure, and hence is a popular imaging procedure for the head. The contrast dye in the CT aids the imaging of the head and highlights parts like blood vessels better. Generally, in a CT scan of the head using contrast, images are taken before and after injecting the dye to make better comparisons. The dye can be injected through an IV, or orally given in a CT scan.

CT scans of the head with contrast provide information on brain tumours, blood clots, and head injuries.

How is a CT scan of the Head with Contrast performed?

Following are the steps followed in a CT scan of the head with contrast1:

  • The patient is made to lie down on a narrow table.
  • The table moves through the scanner.
  • The patient could be asked to hold his/her breath for a while to prevent blurry images.
  • Once the examination is done, the patient could be asked to wait until the quality of the images is verified.

The CT scan of the head with contrast usually takes a maximum of fifteen minutes.

Side effects of a CT Scan of the Head using Contrast

CT scan of the head is a fairly safe procedure; however, it may lead to the following side effects1:

  • Radiation exposure.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any medication for diabetes or have kidney complications.
  • May lead to birth defects, so tell your technician/ doctor if there’s a chance you being pregnant.
  • There could be an allergic reaction to the contrast dye.

Preparation before performing the CT scan of the Head using Contrast

The following are the preparations required for a CT scan of the head using contrast:

  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing before the CT scan.
  • Remove all jewellery before you go for the CT scan of the head.
  • Fast before the intake of the contrast dye according to your health provider’s instructions before your head’s CT scan.

Care after the CT Scan of the Head using Contrast

Post-care of the CT scan of the head is simple. Make sure there are no redness and swelling at the IV injection spot on your body after the CT scan. Diarrhoea or constipation are side-effects of the contrast dye. Contact your health care provider if it is severe after the CT Scan of the head.

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