Abdominal CT scan is a diagnostic method used to detect diseases of the internal structures of your abdomen.
This examination is fast, painless, noninvasive and accurate. Pictures are made by a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal and/or axial images of the body. (Do you know the difference between CT and MRI?)
However, as within almost every imaging
What are the risks of the abdominal CT scan?
An abdominal CT scan is considered to be a safe examination. However, there are some risks:
- Allergic reaction – your doctor may decide you be examined by CT with contrast. During the examination, you may develop a reaction – e.g. skin rash or itchiness. These symptoms occur when you are allergic to
contrast. Fortunately, life-threateningallergic reactions are rare.
Do not forget to inform your doctor about any sensitivities to medications, especially barium and iodine, or any kidney problems you have.
- Birth defects – exposure to radiation during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects. It is very important to tell your doctor if you
areor you might be pregnant (in this case, it’s saferto perform an ultrasound or MRI).
- Increased risk of cancer – during the CT
examination, you are exposed to radiation. The amount of radiation is higher than when using an X-ray, therefore the risk of developing canceris slightly increased. However, the risk is much lower than the risk of getting cancer naturally.
Complications during an abdominal CT scan
The complications of an abdominal CT scan are mostly caused by a reaction to a contrast agent used. These side effects are in
Symptoms developed when using a barium contrast agent:
- abdominal cramping
- nausea or vomiting
Iodine contrast complications can include:
- skin rash or hives
When you are given contrast and have one of the severe symptoms, call your doctor or go to the emergency:
- shortness of breath
- increased heart rate
- swelling of your throat or other body parts
A CT scan of the abdomen is in general safe, available and accurate imaging method. In emergency cases, doctors use a