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CT of the Abdomen & Pelvis

A CT of the Abdomen & Pelvis is a noninvasive medical test that uses special X-ray equipment with sophisticated computers that produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the abdomen and pelvic regions of the body. CT scan images provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular X-ray exams.

Your doctor may recommend a CT Abdomen/Pelvis to diagnose:

  • Infections such as appendicitis, diverticulitis or infected fluid collections (abscesses)
  • Inflammatory processes such as pancreatitis; cancers of the colon, liver, pancreas and bladder as well as lymphoma
  • Kidney and bladder stones
  • Diseases of the vessels such as blood clots and abnormal narrowings or stenoses of the vessels

The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT examination table, usually lying flat on your back or possibly on your side or stomach. Straps and pillows may be used to help you maintain the correct position and to hold still during the exam. If contrast material is used, it will be swallowed, injected through an intravenous line (IV) or administered by enema, depending on the type of examination. Next, the table will move quickly through the scanner to determine the correct starting position for the scans. Then, the table will move slowly through the machine as the actual CT scanning is performed. You may be asked to hold your breath during the scanning. Any motion, whether breathing or body movements, can lead to artifacts on the images. This is similar to the blurring seen on a photograph taken of a moving object. When the examination is completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist verifies that the images are of high enough quality for accurate interpretation. The CT scanning is usually completed within 30 minutes.

For Physicians

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