Abdominal CT scan is a diagnostic study that allows you to obtain high-definition layered tomograms and resolutions of internal organs, vessels, lymph nodes, bone structures, soft tissues of the abdominal cavity. CT scans visualize all the organs of the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, spleen, small and large intestines). The study is informative for identifying various pathologies, including inflammatory, purulent-destructive, tumor, dystrophic processes, traumatic injuries of the abdominal organs, etc. It can be supplemented by a study of the retroperitoneal space (kidneys, adrenal glands, urinary system, lymphatic and blood vessels).
With the help of computed tomography, it is possible to detect bulky formations in the abdominal cavity, assess the functions of organs and their general condition.
The main indications for performing abdominal CT scan are:
- diagnosis of neoplasms. Abdominal CT scan is indicated for the detection of benign or malignant formations. Primary diagnostics is carried out, as well as monitoring of the state in dynamics;
- determination of the presence or absence of metastatic foci;
- examination of the biliary tract. Abdominal CT scan allows you to determine the presence of gallstones, violation of bile outflow and other pathological conditions;
- differentiation of inflammatory diseases of the abdominal cavity: pancreatitis, colitis, abscesses of various localization, etc.;
- liver diseases: hepatosis, hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cysts, etc.;
- examination before surgery;
- acute conditions of unclear etiology, when other research methods proved to be uninformative or their application is impossible;
- jaundice of the skin and visible mucous membranes. CT is performed to determine the causes of pathology;
- control studies after treatment to monitor the condition of the pathological focus.
Abdominal CT scan shows the localization, size, and prevalence of the pathological focus of the area under study. The painlessness, accuracy and speed of diagnosis allow the use of CT in various fields of medicine.
Preparation for abdominal CT scan depends on whether the procedure is done with or without contrast. If the introduction of a contrast agent is not required, it is recommended before CT:
- follow a dietary diet. A few days before the study, it is necessary to exclude from the diet products that increase gas formation. For example, legumes, carbonated water, apples, cabbage, radishes, fermented and fermented milk products, bread;
- perform the procedure on an empty stomach. The last meal should be at least 5 hours before the CT scan of the abdominal cavity. If the study is scheduled for the evening, it is recommended to eat easily digestible food throughout the day.
When performing abdominal CT scan with contrast, an allergic test for iodine is added to the above preparatory measures. It is also necessary to drink up to 2 liters of water before the study, which will accelerate the subsequent removal of the contrast agent from the body.
Performing a CT scan requires being in a stationary state. If the patient is overly excited, it is recommended to perform a CT scan of the abdominal cavity under anesthesia. To do this, an anesthesiologist is consulted before the procedure.
Method of conducting
Abdominal CT scan is performed as follows:
- a few days before the study, it is necessary to carry out the recommended preparation;
- abdominal CT scan is performed on an empty stomach;
- during the study, it is necessary to be in a stationary state. If this is not possible, CT is performed under anesthesia;
- the tomograph performs a series of images that form a three-dimensional image. Based on this, the condition of the internal organs of the abdominal cavity is assessed;
- if it is necessary to use a contrast agent, it is administered orally or intravenously, less often rectally. After that, a series of pictures is also taken.
- upon completion of the diagnostic procedure, it is recommended to observe the drinking regime. This is necessary to accelerate the removal of the contrast agent.
- The average study time is 20 minutes. The duration of the evaluation of the results obtained depends on the volume of diagnostics performed. It is 1-1.5 hours. Pictures and a medical report are given to the hands. If necessary, all data can be recorded on CD or DVD.
Abdominal CT scan with contrast
In order to more accurately determine the condition, structure and localization of the internal organs of the abdominal cavity, as well as the retroperitoneal space, to see the vessels and lymph nodes, specialists resort to using abdominal CT scan with contrast.
A special iodine-based substance is injected into the body orally, intravenously or rectally. Contrast colors the area under study, after which a series of pictures is taken. The resulting three-dimensional image reflects an increased accumulation of contrast medium or, conversely, its lack. In a similar way, high accuracy of diagnostic examination is achieved.
CT readings with contrast
Indications for CT scans of abdominal organs are diverse. Among them are the following:
- preoperative preparation for extensive abdominal surgery;
- assessment of the operability of the patient (surgical treatment);
- development of acute conditions and pain syndrome of unclear genesis;
- traumatization of the abdominal cavity;
- the development of mechanical jaundice and a sharp change in weight;
- the appearance of suspicions of the presence of a bulky formation in the abdominal cavity;
- chronic dysfunction of the digestive and urinary system;
- monitoring the dynamics of treatment.
CT with abdominal contrast determines:
- Tumors (malignant and benign);
- Vascular abnormalities and atherosclerosis;
- Hemorrhages and injuries;
- Conglomerates (stones) in the gallbladder and kidneys;
- Lymph node lesions;
- Extensive processes of pathological changes (the volume of education, its boundary and the degree of prevalence);
- Liver pathology (hepatosis, cirrhosis, hepatitis);
- Congenital malformations;
- The structure of parenchymal organs (organs consisting of solid tissue), its painful changes;
- Blood diseases;
- Normal or pathological patency of hollow and tubular organs;
- Foreign bodies.
Contraindications to CT with contrast
To date, abdominal CT scan is considered one of the safest studies.
Relative contraindications include:
- acute kidney disease;
- age up to 14 years;
- decompensated diabetes mellitus;
- individual intolerance of the components of the radiopaque substance;
- severe diseases of the heart, liver, blood.